Thursday, June 25, 2009

Excavator operator escapes harm

The operator of this excavator was unharmed after it tipped over while demolishing a building next to Nu Cara Pharmacy on Washington's E. Madison Street Thursday. The TC Tiling and Excavating employee says there was a hole in the basement that didn't get compacted, and when the machine's tracks got to close it pulled it in. At about 3:00 Thursday afternoon he said they were on their way to get another piece of equipment to tip the excavator upright. (Photo: KCII/Nick Wilkens)


Crawfordsville under boil order until further notice

Crawfordsville is under a boil order until further notice after crews discovered a hole in the casing of the town's well. City council member Michell Blum says workers replaced a pump, and when they turned it on, it churned up sludge. She says the community will need to drill a new well, which could take a month or longer. Blum says Crawfordsville uses roughly 25,000 gallons of water per day, and is currently hauling water from Olds to keep the water tower full. She says residents are urged to boil water for human consumption for at least one-minute.

Unemployment up in Washington Co. but still low compared to state numbers

Unemployment numbers were up across the board last month. However Washington County's jobless claims are still down compared with the statewide average. Iowa Work Force Development statistics show Washington County's rate for May was 4.6%, that's up from 3.9% in April. The statewide average climbed to 5.8% compared with 5.1% in April. Iowa is still faring better than the rest of the country. The nationwide unemployment rate hit 9.4 % in May.

One injured after crash on 92

A Davenport woman was hospitalized after her Dodge Neon side-swiped a semi on highway 92, just east of Columbus Junction at about noon yesterday. The Iowa State Patrol says 21 year old Amanda Stocker was taken by Air Care to University Hospital in Iowa City. The accident report indicates she was westbound when her Dodge Neon drifted over the center line, and collided with the tractor-trailer. Neither the driver of the semi, or the driver of a third vehicle that was hit with flying debris were injured. Police say charges are pending and the accident remains under investigation.

Washington Schools could adopt $36 million plan tonight

Washington School Board members could adopt at $36-million facilities tonight. They're having a work session 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. Tonight's work session starts at 6:30 in the administration building, with the special meeting scheduled at 8:00.

2009 a quiet year for severe weather

Southeast Iowa has seen it's fair share of severe weather over the past few weeks, but overall things have been relatively quiet this year. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the declining La-Nina event combined with a cool spring has kept violent weather occurrences down. Hillaker says rainfall is up slightly so far this year, with the far southeast corner of the state reporting the highest numbers.

Mohling says extra workload won't be a problem

Newly appointed regional ISU Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says he's ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work. Mohling was named to the position as part of a statewide restructuring of the extension service. Mohling is no stranger to this type of scenario. Before the restructuring he served as education director for Johnson and Washington Counties, and also oversaw Iowa County for a three year period.

Sheriff's Reserve adds officer

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is adding an officer to it's reserve unit. Supervisors this week approved the appointment of Crawfordsville resident Eric Long. Chief Deputy Darren Dennler says they hope to eventually have around 20 auxiliary officers in the unit. He says these officers can cut down on the department's overtime costs and assist with special details. Dennler says anyone interested in joining should contact the sheriff's office.

Farmers reminded to report acreage

With summer just beginning and the farming season well underway, farmers are reminded to report their crop acreage to the Farm Service Agency in Iowa by next Tuesday. Dennis Olson with the FSA says failure to report acreage by the appointed deadline may result in late-filing fees. He says the reports received will be used in a number of agricultural programs as well as used for tracking future crop history. Olson says the minimum late fee is $46 per farm.

Home inspection company coming to SE Iowa

One of the largest home inspection franchises in the country will be setting up shop in Mt. Pleasant. The HouseMaster company recently announced their plans to open an office in the southeast Iowa town and to give the controls to local resident Aaron Schuman. Schuman says owning the HouseMaster branch will give him an opportunity to give something back to the community, while running a business of his own at the same time. Company officials cited Schumans management skills as well as community connections as perfect qualities for a franchise owner.