Friday, April 3, 2009
A Sigourney man is facing voluntary manslaughter charges after allegedly killing his father. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says 32 year old Kenneth Lundy is being held in the Keokuk County Jail, pending an initial appearance before a district Judge. They say Lundy got into a heated argument with his father, 61 year old Kenneth Lundy early Thursday morning. The argument escalated and both men retrieved firearms. Authorities say Kenneth Lundy shot his father, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The State Medical Examiners Office plans to perform an autopsy later this week. Lundy is considered innocent unless proven guilty.
A group of volunteers is going to be cleaning up downtown Washington tomorrow morning. Mayor Sandra Johnson says the group will meet at 8:00 am at Central Park. Those wishing to help out are encouraged to bring gloves, garbage bags, rakes and shovels. There will be coffee and donuts in Central Park after the clean up.
The number of high-school dropouts was up last year in Iowa. Washington High School Principal Shane Ehrsman says that isn't being reflected locally. He says WHS was ahead of the statewide graduation rate in 2007 by nearly seven percent. Ehresman says they have weekly meetings to identify at risk students. He says a measure being considered in Des Moines that would raise the dropout age from 16 to 18 is probably a good idea. He says even if a student is having trouble, they can still participate in the Assure Alternative School Program and receive their diploma.
There's talk of a soccer field at Washington's East Creek Park. The idea was brought up at this week's city council meeting. Councilor Bob Shepherd says it's something that would have to be carefully considered. Shepherd says a recent study of the park also put the idea of a natural walking area on the table. He says utilizing the stream for a water feature has also been discussed. Parks Superintendent Tim Widmer brought up the soccer field idea because of the sport's growing popularity in Washington.
The Kalona Elementary School has had a geo-thermal heating system for 5 years. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the system is working very well. He says a lot of people say the system will pay for itself within 5 years, but he says thats different for them because it was a retro fit and not a new installation. Schneider says the geo-thermal system does a very good job in heating and cooling the school and they can see the difference in the utility bill.
The American Cancer Society urges local companies to take up the fight against cancer in their community by becoming sponsors of Relay for Life. Kierstan Peck with the American Cancer Society says cancer touches everyone, and involvement in Relay for Life is a great way to show that a company cares. Peck says 32,538 of people will participate this year in 87 Relay for Life events across Iowa. If you would like to become a corporate sponsor or find out how to build a team for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Louisa County, call 319.653.3768 or visit www.RelayForLife.org.
Washington County is part of a growing list of Iowa counties that have started compiling their geographical information in house. Duane Royer heads up Washington County GIS. He says it involves more than just updating maps. Royer says GIS is utilized by virtually every county agency...from public safety...to the assessor's office. He estimates its cost at about 100-thousand dollars per year. At this week's board of supervisor's meeting, many different department heads attested to the service's usefulness. They say it more than pays for itself.
Spring is here, and a few things done now can help keep lawns healthy during the summer. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling care needs to be taken when considering fertilizer options. He says its best to start with a soil sample. Mohling says once the yard has greened up and been mowed twice, it's time to start looking for weeds. He says many lawn and garden stores carry a spring time granule that will fight weeds, and fertilize at the same time. For more information call the Washington County Extension at 319-653-4811.