Saturday, March 21, 2009

Legislative Preview

The Iowa State Legislature is in the process of figuring out next year's budget. Large cuts are anticipated in a number of areas. 48th District Senator Becky Schmitz says it's now a matter of trying to figure out which areas can sustain those cuts. Schmitz says they'll probably have to put a lot of proposed projects on hold. Schmitz and 89th District State Representative Larry Marek will be in Washington this morning at ten for a legislative update. If you can't make it to the courthouse, KCII will be replaying the briefing at 1:00 this afternoon. And you will be able to find a PODCAST at, click on Radio Plus.

Learn at Lunch

If you want to see the future, a good place to start is at school. Today's students will be tomorrow's what's being done to prepare them? Washington High School Principal Shane Ehresman will lay that out this Monday during a Learn at Lunch. Ehresman says technology is probably one of the biggest recent changes in education. He admits that some technology, like mp3 players and cell phones, can be distracting. However, he says technology has had a mostly positive impact. To hear more from Ehresman, plan on attending the Learn at Lunch session this Monday. The meal is only seven-dollars and the Washington Chamber of Commerce needs people to make reservations by 9:00 Monday Morning. The event will be from noon to one at the Washington County Extension building.

Grass Fires

There have been a lot of grass fires in the Kalona area over the last week. Fire Chief Steve Yotti says there have not been any major losses yet but the weather is getting dryer. Yotti says they have had an average of 2 or 3 fires a day. Yotti says the best thing to do when burning is to make sure that everything around is wet and to make sure that you have plenty of materials on hand to douse a fire if it starts to get out of control.

County Web

The internet has revolutionized the way we do things...from paying bills, to staying in touch with friends. But there's one area where many people would like to see more online access...government. Many municipalities have no website and can't accept payments via the internet. Both the the city of Washington and Washington County have websites. County I-T director Cyndie Sinn says she'd like to do more with their online content, but says they simply lack the resources. Sinn says their site essentially serves as an index for people to find links to other government agencies. She hopes one day the site will flow better, provide more information and have a search feature. Sinn says they do not currently have an employee whose sole duty is managing their website.

IMS Basketball and the Student Body

The IMS Basketball team went to the state championships and placed 3rd. IMS Principle Tony Miller says the students were very excited and he could tell the students were feeling very proud to be a part of IMS. He says they won the sportsmanship award and says that was a good reflection on the students and the community. Miller says he is very proud of the team and the student body for doing so well while at the same time they never forgot there academics.

WACO Elementary Kindergartners

WACO Schools are updating their lists of children who will be attending kindergarten at WACO Elementary School next year. Elementary Principle Vicky Reynolds says if you have a child who will be 5 years old before September 15th to call WACO at 319-658-2931. She says the Kindergarten Parent Orientation meeting will be held on Monday April 6th at 7pm at the school library in Crawfordsville. If you are unable to attend the meeting, she asks that you call the school at 319-658-2931.

Naturalist Playdate

Playing outside is arguably one of the greatest joys of childhood. However, in a world dominated by computers, video games and cell seems to be a lost past time. Pam Holz, with the Washington County Conservation Board, is looking to revive the time honored tradition. Holz is hosting a "Naturalist Playdate" Saturday March 28th at Marr Park at 1:00 pm. The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required. For more information contact the conservation board at 319-657-2400.