Friday, July 3, 2009

Washington Gets a Jump on the 4th

Washington residents kicked off 4th of July festivities last night with patriotic music from the municipal band, and blasts from a homemade cannon. Retired Army Artillery Commander Wayne Gamon constructed the cannon. He says it's in his blood, and was fun to build. The cannon fire accompanied the "Stars and Stripes Forever." Municipal band conductor Tom Macnimar says their annual "Liberty Concert" just wouldn't be complete without it The festivities continue this weekend in Washington County. Our website has a listing of Fireworks displays, and stay tuned to KCII for patriotic music this 4th of July weekend.

State Patrol on Special Detail

AAA expects fewer motorists out on the roads this holiday weekend. However, the Iowa State Patrol will still have an increased presence. Safety education officer Jason Marlow says the nice weather forecast will likely mean a higher volume of traffic. Marlow says they'll be keeping an eye out for speeders, aggressive drivers, and motorists under the influence. The Iowa State Patrol's special holiday detail kicked off yesterday (7/2) and runs until Monday (7/5)

Local Fireworks

Fireworks are a staple of any 4th of July celebration, and there are many displays in the area this weekend. The city of Washington's will be at Dusk tomorrow (7/4) at the county fairgrounds. Wellman's will be at 9:35 in the downtown area. Wayland's are at dusk at the football field. Richland's are at 9:30 at Alumni Park. Sigourney's are at dusk at the expo. There will also be fireworks in association with races as the Columbus Junction Speedway this evening (7/3). Shiloh Church near Kalona will also have a display tonight. The gates close at 8:45 and the cost is five dollars per car.

Fireworks Safety

Most types of fireworks are illegal in Iowa, unless part of an organized display with properly trained personnel present. Assistant State Fire Marshal Jeff Quigle says things like sparklers and snakes are legal, but can still pose a safety hazard. He recommends keeping a coffee can, or a can of water nearby so remnants can be disposed of and extinguished properly.

IFB on Cap and Trade

The Iowa Farm Bureau says the current cap and trade bill moving through Congress could have a devastating impact on Agriculture. IFB national policy advisor Marty Schwager says higher energy prices, would lead to increased production costs. Schwager says the Farm Bureau estimates that if the cap and trade bill passes, U-S farmers will see production costs go up by five-billion dollars by the year 2020. He says they would favor a voluntary, market based way to reduce greenhouse gases.

Walmart Hiring for New Facility

Washington's Walmart is relocating to it's new facility on the east side of town soon, and looking to make some hires. According to the company's website, both full and part time positions will be available. There will be openings for cashiers, as well as in the grocery and photo lab departments. The store is also in need of overnight associates temporary setup crews. Those interested can apply at Walmart's current location, or online at

Smoking Ban 1 year later

A year after the passing of the Smokefree Air Act, reports from Louisa County say businesses are enjoying the clean air. Kaitlyn Wintermeyer with the county extension says while less than two percent of businesses have violated the law, they are still open to changing policies in order to comply. Since the law applies to outdoor public areas as well, Wintermeyer says shes interested in seeing how Louisa County residents act during the summer festivals in public parks. She says her department has had no trouble in responding to further violations from businesses.

RR Xings closed in Washington

Railroad crossings on Avenue B and 12 Avenue will be under construction beginning Monday most likely causing road closures. Rob McDonald, Washington City Engineer, says motorists should expect to run into road closures on Avenue B, as work will be done there first, followed by 12th Avenue later in the week. He says the work may not be fully completed until the following week.