Thursday, April 16, 2009

Qwest gives WHS $16,000

Washington High School is getting $16,000 from the Qwest Teacher's and Technology grant program. Math teacher Tom Langr is one teacher who's classroom will benefit from the grant. He says it will help them purchase graphing calculators, which are invaluable in today's changing world. The money will also help purchase computer interface technology for use in science and math classes. Representatives from Qwest and the Iowa School Boards Foundation were on hand yesterday to present a check to the school during an assembly.

Washington Council tables liquor request

Whether or not a Washington restaurant can serve alcohol in a sidewalk cafe setting is still up in the air. City council members decided to table the request from Cafe Dodici for a third time at last night's meeting. Councilor Fred Stark says they need some time to look at other communities' ordinances. Stark says the nearby cities of Fairfield and Mount Pleasant have such an ordinance. He describes gathering the information as a "monumental task" and is unsure of what the outcome might be. Some council members have expressed concern over what kind of precedent allowing the request might set. The issue is expected to come up at the next meeting.

General Assistance requests down in Washington Co.

Fewer people requested Washington County General Assistance this quarter, versus last. G-A Director Sue Rich says that saved them about $500. She says warmer weather could be one reason for the decline. During the last quarter, Washington County General Assistance spent more $2,000. During this most recent quarter they spent a little more than $1,600.

State budget's local impact

With the legislature talking about the state budget, many people are wondering how that will affect there home town. Jerry Kauffman, Kalona Mayor says the state is trying to save as much money as possible. Kauffman says even though they might not receive state money, Kalona is doing o-k and he is no fear of Kalona being in any financial danger.

WHS Physics team state bound

Physics students at Washington High School head to Des Moines today to compete in statewide competition at Drake University. WHS students finished in the top two spots in six categories this month during the district physics contest. Teacher Jeff Richard (Ri-shard) says teaching science content is becoming increasingly important. Richard says its promising to see young women becoming more interested in science. He says engineers are in need of more women, in the typically male dominated profession, to provide a different view point. Richard also says the public is invited to attend the physics contest today at Drake.

Alliant urges electrical safety during planting season

With spring field work is in full swing for Midwestern farmers. Dave Koch with Interstate Power and Light Company, wants to remind rural customers to work safely and be aware of overhead power lines when operating heavy machinery, large sprayers, or using ladders. He says high-voltage power lines are not insulated and pose a significant risk for electrocution on farms. Electrocution can occur when objects and people are moving and come in contact with the overhead power lines. Koch says electrical currents can also arc to a conductive material near a power line without actually touching it, so its important to always maintain a clearance of at least 10 feet. Following basic farm safety rules can save lives and prevent injury. For more information about outdoor electrical safety, you can visit

Property tax credit forms available

Washington County property tax credit forms are now available. Treasurer Jeff Garret says property owners or renters that were either age 65, or declared totally disabled and whose household income was less than $20,031 as of the end of last year may be eligible for a property tax credit or rent reimbursement. Garret says mobile home owners that were age 23 at the end of last year whose total household income was less than $20,031 may also be eligible. Qualified persons are encouraged to pick up the appropriate forms at the County Treasurer's Property Tax Department at 222 West Main Street in Washington.