Saturday, June 6, 2009

Emerald Ash Borer in Iowa

The first evidence of the tree killing Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered in Iowa, and the ISU Extension Service is letting people know what can be done to protect ash trees. They say treatments are available but need to be utilized only if an infestation is confirmed. The Extension says only ash trees are susceptible to EAB. They also say treatment methods only work if ash trees are healthy and growing. Insecticide should not be used unless you live within a 15 mile radius of a confirmed EAB infestation. For more information on the destructive beetle, visit the Extension's website. 

Ridiculous Days

One of Iowa's Oldest Ridiculous Days celebrations is today in downtown Washington. The festivities kick off with "Bags of Bargains" which runs from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm. Silly fun is from 10am to noon with registration at 9:30. That includes a cutie contest, pigtail contest Oreo stacking and more. There is also an open invitation for residents to "share their silly side" with the community during the parade. Registration begins at 11:00 am at the high school parking lot.

Ridiculous Book Sale

As part of today's Ridiculous Days celebration, the Washington Public Library is selling reduced price books as well as audio and videotapes. They say as they prepare to move into their new facility this summer, they have to decide what items will travel with them. Proceeds from this sale will go towards teen summer reading club prizes and teen programming. The sale begins this morning at 9:00 in the Helen Wilson Gallery at the Library, and runs until 1:00 this afternoon. 

Grassley Pork Market

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he doesn't expect a ban on U.S. pork products in several foreign countries to have a chilling effect on trade relations. Grassley says safety scares have happened in the past and the market always rebounds. He says other countries might be using the ban as a way to boost their local pork industries. The New Hartford Republican says domestically, the department of agriculture can buy up U.S. pork to stabilize the price. 

Flight Breakfast

The Flight Breakfast at Washington's municipal airport is tomorrow morning from 7-11. It's being hosted by the American Legion. Organization member Terry Philips says this is the first year theyre hosting the annual event. Philips says in addition to pancakes and sausage, the Flight Breakfast also features a variety of aircraft that can be seen landing and taking off. He says youngsters will also have an opportunity to go on a free plane ride through the Young Eagles Cedar Rapids chapter. 

Fireworks Safety

While everyone knows that firework displays are fun to watch, many dont know the risks that are involved. Kalona Fire Chief Steve Yotty says when mishandled or used without proper training, fireworks can cause serious injury including hearing loss, physical loss of limbs, and worse. He says fire departments know the proper way to handle them and set them off. Fireworks are illegal in Iowa, and Yotty says when unqualified users try to set them off they can also start fires as well as explosions due to the hot and dry summer weather.