Thursday, April 2, 2009

Washington Police look to add officer

The city of Washington's police department could be adding an officer. Chief Greg Goodman says it hinges on whether or not they receive a grant that would fund the position for a three year period. Goodman says the additional officer would help alleviate scheduling conflicts, and would get them closer to having two officers on duty at all times.

There is money to be lent

A local bank president says the the financial crisis affecting national financial institutions, and driving the recession hasn't been a problem for him. Dale Torpey with Federation Bank says many times the financial news is isn't as bad as it sounds. Torpey says local banks didn't get caught up in the subprime mortgage situation that spelled disaster for some larger institutions. He also says these smaller banks, including his own, have money to lend. He says Federation Bank has more money to lend now, than they have had in previous years.

Washington Council tables liquor request

Washington City Council members need some more time to ponder an outdoor liquor license request from Cafe Dodici. They decided to table the request for a second time at last night's meeting. Councilor Mike Roth is uneasy about what kind of precedent allowing the license might set. The council will look at how other communities have structured similar licenses. Cafe Dodici co-owner Lorraine Williams feels municipalities need to be ready to adjust their ordinances.

Quitting tobacco during price hike

The yesterday's increase in tobacco taxes at the federal level, combined with a hike in the products price is spurring a spike in the number of people looking to kick the habit. Sarah Yoder is the Washington County Tobacco Use and Prevention Coordinator. She says quitting can be a very difficult thing to do. Yoder says people who are trying to quit shouldn't be too hard on themselves if they do slip up and have a smoke, or a dip. She says there are rebates available through the Iowa-Quitline for nicotine replacement products such as the patch or gum. To find out more about quitting contact Yoder at 319-530-0366.

Wastewater discharged in Louisa Co

An unknown amount of wastewater was discharged and flowed to the Iowa River Tuesday when a force main ruptured in Wapello. According to a news release, city staff had to shut a pump station down near Van Buren Street to fix the main pipe, allowing untreated wastewater to discharge until the pipe was repaired at 11:20 a.m.The city will test water samples collected near the pump station.The Department of Natural Resources does not anticipate taking enforcement action at this time.

Schools for energy efficiency

Interstate Power and Light Company, along with MidAmerican Energy and Black Hills Energy, are helping area schools identify ways to save money on their energy bills by encouraging simple energy-efficient habits, such as turning off lights and unplugging unused appliances. Each school that signs up to participate in the SEE program will be given an energy audit by the utilities at no charge. The energy audit will identify immediate or future projects that the school can participate in to save additional energy. Reducing energy use and energy costs will free up funds for other school needs.

Kalona pool status

With Spring officially here and the weather warming up, Kalona is getting ready to open the pool. Todd Fitzsenry, the parks and recreations supervisor, says they are working to get in compliance with state regulations to make sure the pool is safe for everyone that visits. He says there were some drain issues but feels everything should be good to go when the pool opens up for the summer.

Stitch This

Area 4-H'ers are encouraged to get involved with the Stitch This competiton at this summer's State Fair. Katie Peiffer with Washington County 4-H says the event will have teams disassemble a wedding dress and re-sew it into another wearable garment. Peiffer says this is another program which demonstrates how 4-H isn't just for farm kids. The challenge is open to 4-H members grades nine through twelve. They can sign up in groups of four, or be placed on a team by signing up individually. Registration is due by June 1.