Thursday, June 11, 2009

Washington School Board holds off on $36 million proposal

Washington School Board members last night chose to hold off on approving a $36 million proposed overhaul of the district's facilities. They want time to hold a work session to gather input on the plan. They'll have that session on June 23, followed by a special meeting to adopt the plan on the 25th. In order to put a bonding proposal on the September ballot, more than 100 signatures need to be gathered and submitted to election officials by July 14.

Gender balance a challenge for VA

A new state law requiring appointed boards to be gender balanced could prove troublesome for the Washington County Veteran's Affairs Commission. Commissioner Terry Philips says there are simply fewer female veterans than males. However, he says this will give them an opportunity to identify women who have served. The gender balance law goes into effect in 2012.

Arborist: 25% of Washington trees ash

About 25% of street trees in the city of Washington are ash, which could be bad news if the Emerald Ash Borer makes it's way to this area. Andy Dahl is the arborist at University of Iowa, and a member of Washington's Tree Beautification Committee. He says the destructive insect would have a devastating impact on Washington. Dahl says other states have had limited success controlling the Emerald Ash Borer. He says the best approach is to limit its spreading. He says that's why it's important to use local firewood, and not transport it.

Tyson says products are safe in wake of Russia ban

A spokesperson for Tyson Foods says his company is "confident about the safety" of their pork products in the wake of Russia refusing products from two Iowa plants. Gary Mickelson tells KCII their fresh pork operation's are federally inspected. He also says they have an in house quality assurance staff. He says they'll be working with the USDA and Russian officials to resolve the trade situation as quickly as possible. The Des Moines Register reported the Russian meat plant oversight group said E. coli bacteria was found in some meat from the Waterloo and Columbus Junction plants.

Municipal band kicks off season

The Washington Municipal Band's first performance of the 2009 season is this evening (6/11) in Central Park. Wayne Brock is one of the band's most experienced musicians. He says there's no greater experience than being on stage and seeing the park filled with people. The band will perform this evening (6/11) at 8:00 as part of Washington's Thursday Night Live festivities. The event also features music from guitarist David Moore and a farmer's market.

Family gathers to remember car accident victim

Family and friends of the late Travis Filben will be celebrating the life of the 19 year old in a rather unconventional way. Scott Young, father of Filben, says they will be having a celebration of life party, in addition to the more formal funeral. He says they will be honoring Filben by playing some of his favorite games and eating some of his favorite foods. Young says all are welcome to this event and welcome to share in their memory of Filben. The event will be at the east pavilion in Wellman City Park at 3:00 pm today (6/11).

Whoopee Days

The city of Brighton will be letting loose this weekend with their annual celebration of Whoopee Days. Brighton Chamber President Brian Arnold says they use a tried and true formula of events that always brings in a good crowd. Arnold says participants will be treated to a variety of events and activities, including the always popular mud run and armband night where an armband will allow you to ride as many rides as you like for two hours. Arnold says hes also excited for the country/western band Lockren to perform on Saturday night during the street dance.

Highway 22 down to one lane

Highway 22 in Riverside is reduced to one lane again today (6/11) for road maintenance. The Iowa Department of Transportation says motorists should watch for crews and equipment and obey traffic control signs. They say both lanes of the roadway should be reopened by this afternoon at about 3:30 pm.