Tuesday, June 2, 2009

FEMA videos document flood, tornadoes

FEMA has complied a video documentary of last year's Iowa natural disasters. Videographer Mike Mancino says the "Triumph over Tragedy" series captures the recovery efforts in areas hit by flooding and tornadoes last year. They include such efforts in Iowa City, Muscatine and Cedar Rapids. They also feature first responders and a one year anniversary slide show. The videos can be viewed at FEMA's website.

Flood warning continues today

Portions of Eastern Iowa remain under a flood warning today as heavy rainfall continued in the area yesterday. The National Weather Service says the Iowa River was nearly half a foot above flood stage yesterday, and could rise high enough to effect agricultural land in Johnson and Iowa counties today. Motorists are reminded to never drive through flooded out roadways and bridges.

Iowa's housing market still positive

With news of big bailouts, corporate reorganizations, and layoffs all over the country, its hard to find a light at the end of the economic tunnel. But Steve Olson with West Chester Savings Bank says the housing loan situation in Iowa is quite positive. He says a recent 8-thousand dollar tax credit as well as low mortgage rates makes now an ideal time for first-time buyers to start looking to buy a home. He says both of these factors make Iowa unique from the rest of the nation when it comes to finding a loan.

Wellman City Council

Council members, as well interested members of the general public, met for the Wellman City Council meeting yesterday (6/1). One of the highlights of the meeting was a proposition to enter into a contract agreement for law enforcement with Washington County for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Other topics included the sheriffs report, approval of the agenda, Aprils financial statement, and an approval to close a city road. The meeting was held yesterday at the Wellman Municipal Building.

Washington Park Board

Washington Park Board members will be discussing a new sound system for the Central Park Bandstand at tonight's (6/2) meeting. They'll also continue talks on whether the city's aquatic center should be renamed after former YMCA swim coach Milo Steele. Also on the docket is a progress report on construction at Water Tower Park. The meeting starts 6:30 this evening in Washington City Hall.

Riverside could get new trails

The city of Riverside may be getting some brand new trails. At their Community Visioning meeting last week, representatives from various development organizations discussed the possibility of adding a trail that connects Riverside with Vine Avenue north of Highway 22. This trail would also link up with the Riverside Casino just east of town. Enthusiasm for the proposal was high from the various attending organizations, which included such groups as Trees Forever, the Iowa DOT, and city representatives.

How to avoid Ticks

As the weather warms up, and schools let out, more people are enjoying the great outdoors. Outdoor activities do pose certain risks, one of which is ticks. Don Pfeiffer with the southeast Iowa district DNR says it's important to check for ticks after venturing into the woods. Pfeiffer says it's best to use insect repellents that contain DEET in order to ward of ticks and other bugs. He also says vanilla extract, Absorbine Junior and Avon Skin So Soft work to deter the pests.

WJH report cards

Report cards for Washington Junior High Students are available. The school's Cathy Kleese says they can be picked up during regular office hours from 8-noon and 1-4 until June 19. Questions can be answered by calling the junior high office at 653-5414.