Monday, June 22, 2009

Severe weather marks first day of summer

The first day of summer in southeast Iowa was marked with several rounds of intense thunderstorms and reports of tornadoes. Storm spotters reported a tornado touch down between Wellman and Kalona. KCII also received numerous reports of funnel clouds. Heavy rainfall has also prompted several flood warnings in the area, which remain in effect this morning. KCII's Severe Weather Action Team went on the air a little after eight last night, and finished their broadcast just after ten. The National Weather Service says another series of storms could sweep through the area today and into this evening. In case of Severe Weather, stay tuned to KCII for Severe Weather Action Team coverage.

$36-million school facilities plan could be adopted this week

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million dollar facilities plan this week. They're having a work session Thursday to have a detailed discussion on the various facets of the plan. After that, they're scheduled to have a special meeting to accept the proposal. The school district enlisted the help of the Iowa Association of School Boards in coming up with a facilities plan. Last month that plan was presented during a public meeting at the high school.

Extension hopes to know who regional director is by Friday

Washington County's ISU Extension expects to find out who the new regional director will be by the end of this week. Board president Kathy Ebert says she was told that a decision will be made by Friday. One candidate is Gene Mohling, who is Washington County's Extension education Director. Washington County is being grouped in with several other nearby counties as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. As a result, the extension education director position is being eliminated, and replaced with a regional director.

Regional housing trust fund

A local economic development expert says Washington County should look at partnering with a neighboring county to create a regional housing trust fund. WEDG Director Ed Raber says such a collaboration would increase the chances of getting state money. Iowa created the housing trust fund more than a decade ago. It allows municipalities to create a publicly managed fund to support local housing needs.

New building for comm-center considered

Washington County's E-911 Services Board is looking into the prospect of a new building for the communications center. Comm-center Supervisor Cara Sorrells says they're considering hiring a Minnesota based engineer to advise them. She says it's the same company that assisted them with their radio tower. Sorrells says one possible problem with a new facility, is the tower. She says if they move too far away, they'd have to get a new one. She says that can cost as much as $350-thousand dollars. The 911 board will meet next Monday (6/29)

National History Day

Students from across Iowa got the chance to meet one of the top Iowa lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Nearly 600,000students from middle schools and high schools visited Washington, D.C. for National History Day and Senator Chuck Grassley had the chance to meet with the Iowa group. Grassley says he enjoys meeting with the students because they share a passion for history. He says having such a passionate group of students make the trek to the nations capitol shows Iowas commitment to quality education.

Wear pink today

Area residents are being encouraged to wear pink today (6/22) to show support for a four year old Ainsworth girl with liver cancer. Jenna Waters is the daughter of Jared and Christina Waters. She was diagnosed with liver cancer in January. She's undergoing a long and high risk surgery today.