Friday, April 24, 2009
Fog and heavy rainfall are expected in Washington County and much of Southeast Iowa today. A dense fog advisory remains in effect until 10:00 this morning. This means visibilities will be reduced to less than one quarter of a mile. If driving, slow down, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you. The National Weather Service expects thunderstorms to roll into the area this evening. In the event of severe weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released its first ever environmental report card this week addressing issues such as water quality, wildlife and air pollution. Dennis Ostwinkle is Regional Superintendent for DNR's District 6, which covers southeast Iowa. He says water quality is a concern in this area. Ostwinkle says the city of Washington's waste water plant is one example of a situation they deal with. He says the plant is essentially too small for the community to grow any larger. He says there are sometimes run off issues when the area receives heavy rainfall. City officials have said they hope to start looking at bonds to build a new facility this year.
Washington service organizations were honored yesterday for organizing blood drives during a ceremony at the UP Church. Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center Donor Resources Director Amanda Hess says a blood drive in Washington, usually brings in about 100 units. She says that's an a excellent showing for a community this size. Hess says only five percent of Americans are eligible to give blood, but one in five people entering U.S. hospitals need it. Washington Mayor Sandra Johnson received the humanitarian award on behalf of the city's civic groups. She says they'll find a special spot in city hall for it to be displayed.
Raising Columbus Junction's levy has become a team effort. Federal, state and local officials have been enlisted to asses the project and its costs. Columbus Junction city council member Harold Prior says they hope to lessen the roughly $600,000 price tag by using local soil. One snag in the process is the impact it might have on local wildlife. The Army Corp of Engineers requires a wetland charting, which could take several weeks. A review of the charting by the Corp of Engineers might not be completed until late this summer.
The City of Columbus Junction is having a special Farmers Market today. Mallory Smith with the Columbus Junction Community Development Center says this market will feature bedding plants, baked goods and some fresh produce. She says In case of rain the market will be held inside. The market will run from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the American Legion parking lot, 22 Second St., in Columbus Junction. The regular Columbus Junction farmer's market season begins May 15 and runs until October 9th.
On Saturday, May 2 the Kalona Rotary will be hosting their annual omelet breakfast fundraiser at the Kalona Methodist Church from 6:30 11:00 a.m. Jan Knebel, Kalona Elementary Playground Improvement Committee Chairperson says all the proceeds from the breakfast will go towards the Kalona Elementary playground improvement project. She says this is the second year the Kalona Rotary will be helping with the project.
Nearly 400 people came to the Washington County 4-H's pancake breakfast fundraiser over the weekend. Youth Coordinator Katie Peiffer says money raised from the event will help improve the Washington County Fairgrounds. She says that includes new non livestock project displays and a livestock barn with a small show ring included.