Thursday, May 21, 2009

News Update-Washington County Riverboat Foundation Releases Grant

The Washington County Riverboat Foundation board last night awarded $700,180.00 for their spring grant period. Below you can download the list of recipients.

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Reaction to the $36 million proposal for WSCD

Reactions are mixed after a $36-million proposal for overhauling Washington School facilities was laid on the table this week. Washington County resident and former educator Bill Frakes says he likes the idea of preserving the high-school building, but not annexing the current junior high to a new facility. The biggest question remains funding. The Construction Advocate Team recommends using state sales tax money, and a few rounds of bonding.

New Stewart principal excited to start

The new principal at Washington's Stewart Elementary school says she's excited to start her job and evaluate the school. Rhoda Harris is coming from the Deep River Millersburg School District. She says taking a look at test scores will be her first goal. Miller's current position is being eliminated this summer as Deep River Millersburg is reorganizing with English Valley. Her first official day on the job in Washington will be August first.

Washington Council okays "Celebrate Your Senses"

The Washington City Council is green lighting an early August Celebration in the downtown area. Members have approved closing a portion of Main Street, and allowing alcohol to be served at "Celebrate Your Senses." The only resistance at last night's meeting came from at large Councilor Karen-Wilson Johnson. She feels the event can be just as successful without serving alcohol.

Miksch: Washington Co. legally correct

The chairman of the Washington County Board of Supervisors feels a revenue sharing agreement between Riverside and the county is valid. Jim Miksch says he doesn't see any reason why the city shouldn't continue payments. When the casino was built, a TIF and urban development district were created. As a result, the city agreed to make annual payments to Washington County.

MP Schools to receive $300k

The Mid Prairie School district will receive more than 300 thousand dollars for expansion of Title I and IDEA programs. Superintendent Mark Schneider says the Title I program provides funds to high risk students who are in even greater need during the economic downturn and IDEA is the major federal program that provides funding for special education and related services to students with disabilities. Schneider says he and his staff are exploring exactly how the money will be used.

SE Iowa Company looking to hire

Many companies are eliminating jobs during this recession, but a Southeast Iowa company is looking to hire. Steve Jennings is head of Grasshorse Production in Mt. Pleasant. He says they are looking for 2D and 3D film animators. Jennings describes Grasshorse as a visual effects and animation company. He says they've worked on films such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the TV show Powerpuff Girls. He says artists with a background and education in animation should contact Grasshorse for an interview.

Hospice Golf Tournament

Hospice of Washington County is holding their annual memorial golf tournament next month. Robyn Harvey-Smith, Director of Marketing with Hospice says they hold these tournaments every year but this year they are holding the event to honor a community leader and a fellow golfer; Short Peterseim. She says Short and his wife Jan ran the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona. She says Short passed away last year in June. The Tournament will be Thursday, June 25th, at 11:30am at the Kalona Golf Course and it will be a four person best ball scramble. For more information about cost and registration forms contact the Hospice of Washington County at 319-653-7321.

Master Gardeners

People are exploring the possibility of saving money by growing some of their own food. Gene Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says there's an increased interest invegetable gardening withthe decline in the economy. He says Master Gardeners can provide a good resource of information. Mohling says they are highly visible volunteers in their counties. He says the Master Gardener program is unique for its community emphasis and because it directly utilizes the broad research-based resources of Iowa State University. If you are interested in becoming an Iowa Master Gardener, contact your county extension office to find out more information about training in your area.