Thursday, June 4, 2009

One injured after Riverside crash

One person sustained minor injures after a two vehicle car crash in Riverside last night. 911 records show a vehicle driven by Jesse Fry of Muscatine failed to yield at the intersection of in front of the Travel Mart, and collided with Charles Scheer of Cedar Rapids. One of the two was transported to University Hospitals in Iowa city. It's unclear at this time which one. 

Dispute over airport runway continues

Washington City Council members are again seeking public input on a possible land acquisition that would accommodate a new runway at the airport. Mayor Sandra Johnson says that would entail purchasing farmland from the Berdo family. There has been an ongoing legal dispute between the city and the Berdos. Public comment on whether tax payer money should be spent on the roughly 60 acre parcel of land will be taken at the July 15 council meeting. 

Washington Schools to receive $147K

Washington Schools are getting more than $147,000 in federal stabilization money. The funds are being allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money is earmarked for improvements in teacher effectiveness, establishing pre-k to college data systems and gearing classes more towards college and career preparedness. Washington Schools could receive an additional $760,000, if the funding is approved by the federal government. 

Car dealer talks about auto bankruptcies

A local car dealer says the restructuring of Chrysler and G-M shouldn't have a big impact on his business. Tom Buckwalter, with Buckwalter Motors in Wellman says concerns were high at first, but subsided when a formula for how the restructuring would work was developed. Buckwalter says he's keeping a closer eye on fuel prices. He says that often has a larger impact on the used car business. 

Washington pork producers utilize wind energy

Being environmentally and financially mindful can go hand in hand. ISU extension swine field specialist Tom Miller says many large scale pork producers are finding wind energy to be a viable way to cut down on electrical costs. Washington County pork producers, Andy McCall and Wayne Zeiser each use a wind turbine capable of producing 60-70 thousand kilowatt hours per year.

Washington Co. to crack down on "mudrunning"

Washington County is cracking down on "mudrunners." Engineer David Patterson says the joyrides down class B and C roads create ruts that are costly to repair, and can make it difficult for farmers to access their fields. Patterson says people who go on "mudruns" could be charged with criminal mischief, failure to maintain control of their vehicle or trespassing, depending on what type of road is damaged. Anyone who sees "mudrunning" is encouraged to contact the Sheriff's Office. 

Wild Edibles

Healthy nutrition may be found right outside your door. Naturalist Pam Holz with the Washington County Conservation Board says there are many common Iowa plants that, if prepared properly, provide an excellent source of nutrition. She says things such as thistles and dandelions, while commonly seen as a nuisance, are actually quite healthy. Holz says knowing what is healthy and what isnt is important should an emergency be encountered in the wild. Holz says more can be learned about nature nutrition at the Wild Edibles Program on June 27 at Marr Park.

Program explores Iowa Underground Railroad

The Johnson County Senior Center recently received a grant to host a seminar on Iowas participation in the Underground Railroad. Questions surround Iowas involvement in the 1800s movement which helped escaped slaves find their way to free northern states and Canada. The seminar looks to answer questions such as whether or not Iowa participated at all, how the slaves were concealed from their pursuers, and whether or not some of these hideaways exist today. The seminar will be held on June 9 and is sponsored by Humanities Iowa.