Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Washington County and much of Southeast Iowa are under a dense fog advisory this morning. The National Weather Service says visibility will be reduced to less than a quarter mile in areas. They advise that motorists slow down, use their headlights and leave plenty of stopping distance in front of them. The fog advisory is expected to expire at 8:00 this morning (6/17)
The number of delinquent property taxes is up this year in Washington County. Treasurer Jeff Garret says his office sold 47% more certificates at this year's tax auction, while the total dollar amount was up by a around 19%. Garret says the numbers suggest fewer high dollar parcels were delinquent. Garret says the tax auction gives investors a chance to buy up delinquent certificates, therefore keeping tax funding to various government bodies stable.
Washington County Supervisors have approved wage increases for next fiscal year. Board Chairman Jim Miksch says they had instructed all departments to try to keep their overall budget increases to less than 1.5%. However, he says they wanted to allow for 3.5% pay increases. Miksch says they have a number of union employees scheduled for such an increase, and the board wanted to be fair to the non union ones.
A representative of Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in Washington today (6/17) to field questions on the American Recovery and Reinvestment act. Jared Hershberger will be at the chamber of commerce building from from 1-3 pm. Loebsack says he wants to ensure accountability, transparency and oversight with the distribution of recovery act funds. Hershberger will also be visiting Mt Pleasant this morning.
Washington County Hospital and Clinics is increasing the size of it's physical therapy department. CEO Don Patterson says they've hired Breena Luers as a full time physical therapist. He says she will work with both inpatients and outpatients. Luers has a Doctorate in Physical Thereapy from Des Moines University. She says she looks forward to working with patients of all ages, but takes a special interest in children. Luers, and her husband Justin reside in Keota.
Along with the common summer pests of mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats, area residents are also concerned about bagworms. Gary Bickmeier with the Keokuk County Extension says that the large number of bagworms in 2008 has created high interest in spraying for them this year. However, Bickmeier says not to spray too early, but to wait until bagworm eggs hatch and small larvae appear on trees. He recommends inspecting trees, especially ones where the insects were present last year, and if caterpillars and tiny bags are present, now is the time to spray.
A 40-year old celebration will be having its 41st anniversary in Kalona this weekend. Dave Finley with the Kalona General Store says Kalona Days has been going on annually since 1968 and there are plenty of activities to get all members of the family involved. Finley says one of the biggest highlights for the event is the parade on Saturday morning. He says they usually have a big turnout for the parade and once people show up, they will see how much more there is to do at the event. Finley says Kalona days is a fun and economical way for a family to spend a Saturday.
The Washington Community Theater's production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" opens tomorrow (6/18). Director Ben Bentler says this is a fun play that takes place in the 1920's. He says a large cast, lots of interesting sets and dancing are some of the highlights. Curtain time is 7:30 tomorrow (6/18) evening at the Washington Community Center. The show runs through Sunday (6/21).