Thursday, May 7, 2009

NEWS UPDATE - One arrested after break in at Washington business

A Washington man is facing a laundry list of charges after allegedly breaking in to a local restaurant. 36 year old Charles Miller Junior is charged with burglary, third degree theft, possession of burglary tools, and attempted burglary. According to 9-1-1 reports, officers were called to Unc and Neph's on the city's west side after receiving a report about a break in last night. Miller is considered innocent unless proven guilty.

Washington Council puts hotel tax on ballot

Washington residents will be voting on whether the city should impose a hotel tax this November. City Councilors unanimously approved the measure at last night's meeting. Residents on either side of the issue packed the public library during the discussion. They included hotel owners who say the tax will damage their business, and economic developers who say the measure is a great opportunity for extra revenue.

Wellman hires public works director

The Wellman City Council has hired their first public works director. This week, Aaron Shoemaker was appointed to the post. City Administrator Dave Ross says he has the experience and knowledge needed. Ross says the city council gave him the ok to hire Shoemaker but the council still needs to approve a resolution for his salary. He says Shoemaker started his new job on Tuesday.

Columbus Jct keeps a watchful eye on river

With the forecast calling for severe weather, many towns affected by last years flooding are preparing. Julie Hiendel, city clerk for Columbus Junction, says they have all their pumps ready and are keeping an eye on the Iowa river and making sure the same thing doesnt happen again. She says they are more prepared this year and learned a lot from last year's events.

Economic turnaround not significant for Midwest

A local banker says recent reports about the economy improving don't have a lot of bearing in the Midwest. Brandon Long is a loan officer at Washington State Bank. He says the local economy hasn't been significantly impacted by the recession, and isn't as influenced by the reported turnaround. He says the community banking model has kept many smaller institutions shielded from the downturn, as more aggressive methods have hurt larger ones.

Marek expects rail service in SE Iowa

A southeast Iowa legislator says this part of the state could see passenger rail service in the next two to three years. Riverside's Larry Marek says he's spoken with Governor Chet Culver about the possibility. Marek says Iowa would likely partner with Illinois on the project. He says they need to discuss the option with Amtrak and freight rail owners.

Washington engineer goes plastic

Cash or check? is a question seldom asked these days. It's now, what type of card? Washington County Engineer David Patterson says his office needs their own credit card, because they are doing more business online. The board of supervisors this week approved giving the engineer's office their own credit card. Patterson says this will reduce potential conflicts and confusion when other departments need to use the county credit card designated for use by all departments.

Local schools rank high in AP testing

Two area schools were among the top 50 schools in Iowa based on the opportunities for students to take advanced placement exams. Mid-Prairie High school ranked 9th while Iowa Mennonite School ranked 36th. The index assesses AP participation among public and private schools in Iowa, and ranks schools on ratios based on AP exams given and the number of graduates in a given year. The top 25 schools will be honored during the annual Belin-Blank Recognition Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the University of Iowa.


A non profit group in Iowa is trying to raise awareness about dental-phobia. Dr. Ed Schooley, with Delta Dental of Iowa says some studies indicate there are 30-40-million people who harbor a fear of the dentist. Schooley says the industry is developing guidelines to ease dental-phobia. He says oral care is vital, because many health problems have been linked to a lack of proper mouth care.