Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tornado drill this morning

The Washington and Keokuk County emergency management coordinator says local emergency sirens are in working order, and will be put to the test this morning. Larry Smith says communities in the two counties will test the sirens as part of a statewide tornado drill. Smith says these sirens are for outdoor purposes, therefore people should also have weather radios for use in their homes. Smith says most communities test their sirens at least once a month. He says some even conduct a daily test. Smith will join the KCII Severe Weather Action Team via phone during the mock tornado drill scheduled for this morning at 10:15. He'll explain what's happening and what his duties are during such a situation.

Washington ag assessments up

Washington County agricultural land valuations will increase by 46-percent this year, while agricultural buildings will rise by eight to nine percent. Assessor Lil Perry says both of those will be decreased through a 35-percent state rollback. Perry says this is one of the largest rollbacks in recent years. She says sometimes there isn't one at all. Perry also says Washington County is usually average in its local valuation increases, and this year was no different.

Washington Schools exceed budget

The Washington Community School District exceeded its authorized budget for the 2007-2008 school year by more than $124,000, and violated Iowa law. As a result, the Department of Management is reducing the district's budget for the 2008-2009 school year. Superintendent Dave Sextro says he's confident they won't overspend their budget again. School board members are expected to pass a 23-million dollar budget at tonight's meeting. It starts at 7:00 in the adminstration building.

Washington Sheriff seeks reserve officers

The Washington County Sheriff's Department is look for people to serve in their auxiliary unit. Deputy Darren Dennler says their reserve officers fill in when full time deputies are sick or need vacation time. He says they also assist with special security details and emergencies. Dennler says those interested in joining the auxiliary have to go through an application process, a physical agility test, background check and a weapons qualification. He also says reserve officers have to live in Washington County. To find out more contact the Sheriff's Office.

Marek expects same sex marriage ruling to stand

A state representative from southeast Iowa expects the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex marriage to stand. Larry Marek says the both chambers of the legislature would have pass a measure two years in a row, have it signed by the governor and then put to a vote before they could repeal such a decision. He says the earliest that could happen would be in 2012.

Kalona Council talks stop signs

The Kalona City Council is talking stop signs. At this week's meeting they discussed putting one up for vehicles traveling on 3rd Street to stop at C Avenue. Also at the meeting they discussed funding aid for the Kalona Elementary Playground Improvement project as well as the many road repairs that are needed. One of the main topics at the city council meeting was the re-roofing and residing of the Rec Center.

Louisa Co's severe weather system

When severe weather hits Louisa County the sheriffs office stays alert and is responsible for keeping everyone safe and informed. Chief Deputy Caudle says when severe weather hits Louisa County they have many things that they can do to get information out such as a code red. He says code red is an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for emergency notifications. This system allows them to telephone all or targeted areas of the county in case of an emergency situation that requires immediate action. He says the system is capable of dialing hundreds of phone numbers per minute. It then delivers a recorded message to a live person or an answering machine, making three attempts to connect to any number.

Kindergarten Roundup

It's that time of year when we begin to think about the 2009-2010 school year. Mid Prairie Secretary Judy Goodrich says the Kindergarten round up for Wellman Elementary and Washington Township Elementary is today (Wednesday). Wellman Elementary will be from 9:00-11:00 AM and Washington Township will be from 1:00-3:00 PM. She says students must be 5 years of age on or before September 15 to enter Kindergarten this fall. For more information contact Judy Goodrich, Central Office Secretary, at 319-646-6093 to request registration materials.