Saturday, July 18, 2009

Washington State Bank Wins Award

The leading bank rating firm in the country has given high marks to a Washington financial institution. Washington State Bank received five stars, which is the highest rating given out by Bauer Financial. It's a level only reached by three percent of the nation's banks. Bauer Financial President Karen Dorway says "(WSB) has avoided the lending and underwriting problems that have plagued much of the banking industry." For more information on institution ratings visit Bauer-Financial-Dot-Com.

Kalona Residents Visit Senator

A Kalona family recently vacationed in Washington, D.C. and their visit included more than just sightseeing. Becky and Marlin Bontrager and their family were able to meet with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley during their trip to the nations capital. Grassley says he enjoyed the time he got to spend with the Bontragers. The Senator says he always appreciates when Iowans take the time to visit with him.

School Land

The Washington School district is in negotiations to purchase land for a new high school. Board President Eric Turner says they can't disclose too much information without putting themselves at a disadvantage. Turner says they are in the process of having 90 acres of school owned property appraised. He says that land could be used as part of the bargaining.

New Crop Technologies

Local farmers will get the chance to hear some new ideas for managing and protecting their crops next week. Keokuk County Extension Director Gary Bickmeier says the New Crop Technology Field Day on July 28 caters to all those interested in agriculture and keeping Iowas crops healthy. Bickmeier says experts from Iowa State University and Dow Chemical come and discuss things like soybean aphids, protecting against excess moisture, and helping keep nutrients in the soil. He says one of the biggest problem he sees in agriculture this year has been the lack of nitrogen in the soil.


A Washington business owner is beginning a trek across Iowa this weekend for the annual RAGBRAI event. Rodney Stogdill owns Rider Sales. While he's not peddling across the state, he will be peddling items to keep bicyclists on the road. Stogdill is serving as one of a number of official bike shops providing service to RAGBRAI riders. He's not the only local connection to the statewide event. A number of Washington County teams are making the journey. Bicyclists are also rolling through Brighton later this month.

Cool July

Iowa is on pace to record its fifth coolest July since 1872. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says extended forecasts indicate the trend will continue for the rest of the month. He says Iowa has been missing some of the warmer jet streams. Hillaker says the lower temperatures shouldn't have too much effect on Iowa crops. He says 1992 was the second coolest July on record. He says the Hawk-Eye state set record yields that year.

Road Problems

A Washington County road is still suffering from last year's flooding. County Engineer David Patterson says 133 Street near the English River flooded last year causing it to settle. He says if it settles too much, it could collapse into the river. Patterson says they are considering a couple of options that would brace the road. He says if neither prove to be viable options, they may have to reroute the road.