Friday, August 14, 2009

WFD receives $150k check

The city of Washington's new fire truck serves as they're sort of flagship vehicle. Fire Chief Tom Wide says the engine can carry up to five firefighters, and dispense foam to extinguish two different types of fires. Wide received a $150,000 check from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation during a ceremony yesterday (8/13). WCRF Vice President Pattie Koller. She says the money is part of their bi-annual grant cycle given out to various government bodies and non profit groups.

2nd tall corn sculpture on display at state fair

A second metallic replica of the the world's tallest corn stalk is on display at the Iowa State Fair this week. The record was set in 1946 by Washington County farmer Don Radda. Don's daughter Julie, and her husband Wayne decided to build a replica for the Washington County Fair grounds earlier this year. It became so popular, they decided to build a second model. It's currently on display at the Agriculture Building at the Iowa State Fair Grounds in Des Moines.

DNR investigating fish kill

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating fish kills in Johnson and Keokuk Counties. The first happened in German Creek near Sigourney. The DNR says workers saw fish trying to leap out of the water, which indicates a toxic substance in the stream. That evening they found dead catfish, bluegills and minnows. They say initial water samples show low levels of ammonia. DNR says another kill happened in the Picayune creek near Kalona. A specialist found high levels of ammonia after a property owner reported manure odors late Tuesday night. Dead Suckers, Chubs and Minnows were found. The state agency says the investigations are ongoing.

State Empowerment considering regional shift

Community Empowerment agencies could be shifting to regional system. Tasha Beghtal serves as program coordinator for both Henry and Washington Counties. She says the state is looking at moving away from county by county management. She says as a result, Henry and Washington Counties have been considering merging. They'll be discussing the proposal at a meeting next Thursday (8/27) at 4:30 PM in the Federation Bank building in Washington

$500k for passenger rail

$500,000 of Governor Culvers I-JOBS funds will be going to passenger rail efforts. Riverside State Representative Larry Marek says hes highly in favor of the proposed Chicago to Iowa City rail link. He feels it would be a great alternative mode of transportation. He says with gas prices rising, the $40 round trip ticket would make it a more economical way of traveling. He says if all goes well the rail link could be completed in two years.

Bond issue featured at Learn at Lunch

This month's Learn at Lunch put on by the Washington Chamber of Commerce and ISU Extension Service will feature the Common Ground for Washington School's committee. They're advocating issuing bonds for a massive facilities overhaul at the school district. The group's Luke Horak and Joe McConnell will be talking about the upcoming referendum. School representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. To reserve a seat email Anne Moore at the Chamber of Commerce no later than 9:00 Monday (8/17) morning.

Fair review

There will be a Washington County Fair evaluation meeting at the fairgrounds August 27 in the upstairs meeting room. 4-H Youth Coordinator Kati Peiffer says 4-Hers, parents, leaders, committee members, and the Fair Board are all invited to attend. She says they will discuss positives from this past year and take suggestions for next years fair.

Loebsack in CJ

Congressman Dave Loebsack will be in southeast Iowa next Saturday. He will be stopping in Columbus Junction to discuss cost and access to healthcare. Loebsacks Communications Director Sabrina Siddiqui says the congressman will be holding a series of these meetings across southeast Iowa in order to gauge residents feelings.