Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A barn was lost, but no injuries were reported after a fire in rural Ainsworth. The Washington County Safety Center says they received a report Sunday night indicating the barn at 3270 185th street was "fully engulfed" in flames. Personnel from Ainsworth and Riverside Fire Departments as well as the Washington County Ambulance Service, Rural Electric Cooperative and the Sheriff's Department all responded to the blaze. The safety center says the value of the structure is unknown.
One southbound lane of U-S 218 will be closed in Washington County today. The Iowa Department of Transportation says the right lane will be closed between County Road G26 and Iowa 22 near Riverside while crews conduct patching operations. Motorists are asked to use caution near on and off ramps, and to watch for workers and equipment. The maintenance work is expected to be completed by 4:00 tomorrow (7/1) afternoon.
The Washington School Board is discussing bond petition language at a special meeting tonight (6/30). Last week members approved a $36-million facilities plan that was developed by representatives from the state association of school boards. In order to come up with the money for the plan, voters will have to approve issuing bonds. Before that can happen, a petition with enough signatures has to be submitted to election officials. Tonight's meeting starts at 6:30 in the school administration.
Warm, dry weather is in the forecast this week, and that's coming as welcome news to southeast Iowa farmers. Washington County Extension Education Director Gene Mohling says much of the region saw excessive amounts of rainfall in the past few weeks, making weed control difficult. Mohling says the wet weather has also hampered hay harvests. He says in some spots the first cutting was completely lost. High temperatures are expected in the low eighties this week with little or no chance of rainfall.
With the Fourth of July this weekend, the auditors office has been busy issuing permits for private fireworks displays. County Auditor Bill Frederick says his office this year has issued 18 permits to residents, as opposed to 25 issued last year. Despite this drop, he says there are some issued after the holiday for special celebrations, such as weddings or reunions. Frederick says the process to receive a permit is long, and at this point it is impossible to get one in time for the holiday.
A Washington County supervisor is concerned with how reliable the county minibus is during the winter months. Jim Rosien says a great deal of people rely on the service to get them to and from work, and it creates a hardship when the service stops during inclement weather. Rosien says they're fortunate to have Washington County Developmental Center to serve as a back up for area residents with disabilities.
The Washington Public Library is gearing up for it's move to the new building. Director Patrick Finney says one of the biggest challenges will be keeping things organized during the transition. He says it won't be a fun process, but will be worth it once their settled in. Construction at the new library is expected to be complete by August. Finney says they hope to set a grand opening date in the near future.
Some residents of Washington County got a sneak peak of the upcoming Washington County Fair this past weekend at the 4-H sponsored 5k run/walk. Originally slated for June 19, rain and severe weather postponed the first annual event until this past Friday. Kati Peiffer, 4-H Youth Coordinator says 57 people participated in the inaugural run, and were able to catch a glimpse of fair preparations as animals were already being assembled for the July 19-24 county fair.