Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fatal crash remains under investigation

A car accident near Wellman that resulted in the death of a local man remains under investigation. Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says his department and the Iowa State Patrol are looking into whether or not charges will be filed against 15 year old Jared Gent. Dunbar says Gent failed to yield at the intersection of 170th and Juniper Avenue, and collided with a vehicle driven by 24 year old Ryan Detweiler. Detweiler was taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City, where he remained until he passed away Sunday. 

Washington Council to revisit hotel tax

Voters in Washington could be given a hotel tax option at tomorrow's city council meeting. The Chamber of Commerce is hoping councilor's will put the item on the ballot for the next election. City council members tabled the request at the last meeting in the midst of strong opposition from local hotel owners. The meeting begins tomorrow (5/6) night at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library. 

Economy down...crime up

A local law enforcement official says there has been a slight crime increase in Washington County. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the economy is partially to blame. He says some turn to crime as they struggle to pay bills and put food on the table. Dunbar says as pressure mounts on people, they are more likely to commit crime of passion, rather than a planned out act of violence. The Sheriff encourages all residents to check their security measures. He also urges anyone who sees suspicious activity to contact his department, or the appropriate law enforcement agency. 

MP takes steps to avoid H1N1

Area schools are reviewing their preparedness in the wake of the swine flu outbreak. Mid Prairie Superintendent Mark Schneider says they are taking the necessary actions. Schneider says he has spoken with the school nurses and sent a letter home with students detailing there plan. He says they are doing everything they can to keep the H1N1 virus out of the Mid Prairie School District.

Letter carriers hope to "Stamp out Hunger"

Washington letter carriers are participating in the "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive this weekend. Andy Miller, with the Washington Post office, says they're asking residents to put non perishable food donations outside their house this Saturday morning to be picked up along with the mail. This is the 17th year the National Association of Letter Carriers has conducted the food drive. 

Positive parenting

The Louisa County Extension office is offering several positive parenting seminars this summer. Spokeswoman Kaitlyn Wintermeyer says the "Great Beginnings for Families" five part session will focus on growth and development, as well as building confidence in children. It's being offered through the Stork's Next of Louisa County. Wintermeyer says classes will be held from 4-5 pm on Tuesdays at the Methodist Church in Columbus Junction. In Wapello, the sessions are on Wednesdays from 4-5. Wintermeyer says anyone interested in participating should contact the Stork's nest at 319-527-6378, or the Extension Office at 319-653-2371.

IBNA recognizes KCII

KCII is being recognized by the Iowa Broadcast News Association for farm and agribusiness reporting. The station is receiving an award from the trade group. IBNA President Jim Mertens says awards in this category went to "programming that demonstrates the station's commitment to farm and agribusiness issues." 

Cinco De Mayo, not Mexican Independence Day

Today is Cinco De Mayo, and contrary to popular belief, it's not Mexican Independence Day. It actually commemorates a battle in 1862 that pitted French and Mexican forces against each other. At the time, Mexico was in financial debt to France, and Napoleon the Third used the opportunity to seize Mexican territory. On May fifth, French troops stormed the city of Puebla. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers while fewer than 100 Mexicans were killed. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday in Mexico.