Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Conservative investments still impacted by downturn

Wall Street wasn't the only investment arena hit by the economic downturn. Washington County Treasurer Jeff Garrett manages investments for the county. He says conservative options like CD's also suffered. Garrett says state law puts strict limits on how municipalities invest tax dollars. He delivered his investment report to county supervisors at yesterday's (8/4) meeting.

Councilors to talk airport land deal

Washington City Councilors are looking for public input on a potential land deal that would accommodate moving the municipal airport's runway. Mayor Sandra Johnson says they would make the landowner an offer for the property, but might have to seek condemnation. The city and property owner John Berdo have been engaged in an ongoing legal dispute. Tonight's (8/5) public hearing will gauge support for using tax dollars to buy roughly 60 acres of Berdo's farmland. The meeting starts at 7:00 in the Washington Public Library.

H1N1 vaccination expected by October

Washington County's Public Health Director says the first death in Iowa from H1N1 will likely lead to more interest in vaccination. Edie Nebel says they expect to have such a vaccination available by this October. Nebel says there will be a priority list. She says it will likely include children under 18 and pregnant women. She reminds residents to cover their cough, wash their hands frequently and stay home if they feel sick.

Boswell to stop in Sigourney

Congressman Leonard Boswell will be making a stop in Sigourney next week to hold a listening post style meeting. Boswell will listen to concerns about health care and take questions regarding the Americas Affordable Health Care Choices Act. Boswell says while there is no easy solution to solving the health care question, he is still committed to making coverage more affordable. He says he would also like to maintain quality and value of coverage.

Crop update

What was likely the coolest July on record in Iowa has contributed to a lag in crop development. The USDA says the amount of corn silked in southeast Iowa is 10 percent behind the five year average, while the amount in or beyond the milk stage is more than 20 percent behind. Local soybean blooming is more than 10 percent behind normal, while pod setting is nearly 30 percent behind. However, the majority of both top and subsoil moisture in southeast Iowa is rated in the adequate range.

Iowa gets top marks for finance

A state senator from southeast Iowa is touting national recognition for the Hawkeye state's financial status. Fairfield Democrat Becky Schmitz says this is the second year in a row Iowa has received a Triple-A rating from Standard and Poor's. Iowa is one of only 11 states to receiving top marks from the the rating company. Iowa has also been rated as the fourth best state to do business in by CNBC. Schmitz feels"It says a lot about the bipartisan efforts by legislators to foster a pro-business climate"

CJ 4-Hers get scholarships

Two Columbus Junction 4-Hers have been awarded 1000-dollar scholarships from the Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement. Sandra Dion and Elyssa McFarland are both nine-year members of 4-H and are both freshmen at Iowa State University. Dion says being involved in 4-H has given her a good work ethic as well as a sense of responsibility. McFarland says 4-H has taught her to work hard and has fueled her interest in agriculture.

Keokuks 4-H Hall of Fame inductee

A Keokuk County woman will be inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame this month. Marie Atwood joined 4-H in 1934 as part of the Adams Hustlers club and was leader of the Stick-To-It club from 1965-1982. Keokuk County Extension Director Gary Bickmeier says Atwood has passed down that dedication to 4-H to her children and grandchildren who have been deeply involved as well. Bickmeier says Atwood, along with other inductees, will be honored during the Iowa State Fair, August 23.