Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A heat wave is hitting Iowa this week, and the director of Washington County's Public Health Department says it's important to avoid heat exhaustion and stroke. Edie Nebel says heat exhaustion is when the body can't cool down fast enough, while heat stroke is when the body's cooling system stops working all together. She says it's important to stop outdoor activities if you feel fatigued. She also says keeping hydrated is essential to beating the heat.
The chair of Washington County's Extension Board says a statewide restructuring of the extension service could be benefical. Kathy Ebert says the plan will allow Washington, and several neighboring counties to pool their resources, which could increase access to field specialists. Ebert says Washington County's office staff, as well as the 4-H program will not be effected by the restructuring. A regional director is expected to be announced Friday. This person will oversee Washington, Johnson, Iowa and Keokuk Counties.
The Washington County Riverboat Foundation is allocating nearly $239,000 for the second quarter of this year through it's municipal grant program. WCRF distributes 25% of it's revenues directly to cities in Washington County, based on population. This quarter the city of Washington is getting almost $126,000. City Administrator Dave Plyman says all of the money is going towards the library project. He says the building is still on schedule to be completed by this August.
Weekend storms brought high winds, which downed many trees and tree limbs around Washington. The city's maintenance department is collecting tree material this week. They'll begin pickup today (6/23) on the northeast side of town and move in a counter clockwise direction. Residents are asked to bundle or box as much material as they can to aid in an efficient clean up. The city plans on finishing collections by this Friday (6/25). Questions can be directed to the maintenance and construction office at 653-2947.
Senator Tom Harkin recently announced a $4.1 million grant to improve Iowas roadways and other transportation systems. Two southeast Iowa towns will benefit from these funds. Muscatine will receive $450,000 to conduct an environmental study and enhance U.S. Highway 61. Ft. Madison will receive nearly $900,000 to build a new intersection on a county road and a main highway bypass. Harkin says improvements to Iowas transportation infrastructure will provide a much needed boost to the states economy and improve quality of life.
The Washington School District is continuing mail in registration this year. Families with students currently enrolled will be mailed a registration packet next month. Parents can also access additional forms at the district's website. Packets can be dropped off at the school administration building or returned by mail. All registration packets need to be received by the end of July. Any families that are new to the district will have a chance to tour facilities, speak with guidance counselors and get registered on August 18 during registration day.
Kalona kids will get the chance to show their artistic side this week with the Kalona Public Librarys Summer Reading Program. Marissa Tartaglia is in charge of the program this year and she says there are a number of different arts and crafts activities planned. Tartaglia says all are welcome to participate in these activities, whether they registered or not. She says the program focuses on encouraging kids to read during the summer. The program will run all this week at the Kalona Public Library.