Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More flood relief

Some southeast Iowa communities may soon be getting more help from the government for flood recovery. Congressman Dave Loebsack recently announced over $24 million in recovery act funds that will be used to rebuild devastated communities and protect Iowa farmers and landowners from future natural disasters. These recovery act funds will protect against more than just flooding, as the money will also go to protecting communities against droughts and erosion.

Bio-Security Workshops

Six workshops focusing on bio-security are being offered this month and next in Southeast Iowa. Washington and Keokuk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Smith says the sessions train people how to respond to foreign animal diseases. Smith says the programs are free of cost and are sponsored by Homeland Security, The Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information or to register contact your local emergency management coordinator.

Weekly crop update

Southeast Iowa farmer's are in need of a different type of weather than the rest of the state. State Climatologist Harry Hilaker says statewide rainfall was up about 50% last week, which came as welcome news in may places, but was excessive locally. USDA statistics show almost 90% of Southeast Iowa's corn emerged, with 63% of soybeans above ground. There is still some soybeans to be planted in Southeast Iowa, but statewide progress is ahead of last year.

Finding a job

National unemployment numbers were up again last month, and many are looking for work. Kirkwood Washington Center Director Nancy Rash says one of the most important tools a job seeker has is their resume. She also says it's important to follow any directions and employer gives regarding the application process. Kirkwood offers a number of college credit and continuing education courses centered around employment and career development. Contact the Kirwood Washington Center for more information.

Tire Safety

This is National Tire Safety Week, and as Benjamin Franklin said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure." Joe Greiner owns Greiner Discount Tires in Washington. He says it's important to keep an eye on air pressure, and tread condition. Greiner says during hot weather, it's important to check tire pressure when the tires are cool, not after driving around all day. He also says keeping tires in proper working order can also save money, because under-inflated tires cut down fuel efficiency.

Underwood Bridge open

Construction on the bridge over Long Creek on Underwood Avenue in Washington County is done. The county engineers office says $428,000 project was completed on time by Winfield based Schmidt Construction. They say the new three span concrete bridge replaced the 90 year old "pony truss bridge" and provides increased serviceability for local residents.

Summer Pests

Along with warm summer weather comes the inevitable nuisance of summer pests. Ken Holscher with the ISU extension says the most common insects during the summer months are black flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. Holscher says that a common misconception about ticks is that they live in trees when in reality they wait in tall grass and short bushes. He says ticks cant survive in sunny areas, so keeping your lawn mowed and short is a good way to control the tick population. Holscher says the record flooding of last year has given many pests extra breeding grounds to build bigger populations.