Monday, July 6, 2009

Washington School Board slated to call for special election

Washington School Board members this week are expected to to pass a resolution calling for a special election in September. The purpose of the election is to have residents vote on whether the school district should issue nearly $12-million in general obligation bonds to get started on a massive facilities plan. The overall proposal calls for spending around $36-million to build a new high school and renovate other district buildings. The bonding proposal would require 60% of voters to be in favor to pass. The meeting starts at 7:00 Wednesday night (7/8) in the school administration building.

Chicago teens visiting Washington this week

Washington residents will be getting phone calls from a group of Chicago high school students this week. These teens are working with the University of Iowa's political science department to conduct a public opinion poll. Mayor Sandra Johnson says she leaped at the opportunity when the university first contacted her. She says the survey will have around 30 questions. The students are conducting the survey through the Mikva challenge. It's designed to engage low income Chicago youth in politics. It's named after former White House Counsel, judge and U-S Congressman Abner Mikva.

BOS preview

Washington County Supervisors will soon be taking public comment on ordinances that will go into effect this year. They're slated to set a public hearing date at this week's meeting. They'll also sign off on a pickup truck purchase by the secondary roads department. Supervisors are also expected to approve a contract for rural solid waste disposal services with Marks Sanitation. The meeting starts at 9:30 Tuesday (7/7) in the Washington County Courthouse.

Lake Darling won't fill up this summer

Lake Darling won't be filling up this summer as initially planned. A news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources indicated the state agency had planned to suspend construction, and allow the basin to fill through labor day. However, The Cedar Rapids Gazzette reports that the DNR will keep the gate outlet open and allow runoff to exit the lake. The DNR State Parks Bureau Chief tells the newspaper they decided the best course would be to stay with the original construction plan.

Preventing lyme disease

Summer is insect season, and with more bugs comes the threat of diseases. Kathy Cuddeback with the Iowa Lyme Disease Association says hikers should be very aware of ticks and the dangers of lyme disease. She says all kinds of ticks have the possibility to carry the illness, not just deer ticks, and common symptoms may include head and muscle aches, fever, and a rash near the bite area. Cuddeback says ticks tend to live in long grass near forest edges, so it is a good idea to wear long clothing when going near these areas.

Loebsack visits Afghanistan

Iowa National Guard troops in Afghanistan were recently paid a visit by southeast Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack. Sabrina Siddiqui says Loebsack was able to meet with top US military leaders as well as Afghan officials, but says his main reason was to meet with the troops. With him, Loebsack brought care packages from family and friends back in the Hawkeye State. Loebsack says there is no better way to celebrate Independence Day.

Fundraising at Hamakua

A recent fundraiser brought in more than $235 for Hamakua Youth Center in Washington. Center director Deb Bodensteiner says teens sold more than $1,500 in Schwans food. Bodensteiner says says they're next fundraiser will be July 28. She says the teens will be grilling pork burgers and hot dogs for a free will offering. Proceeds are being used for upcoming fall youth programs and a new slushie machine.