Thursday, August 20, 2009
Washington County's Public Health Administrator says they don't know how much vaccine they'll be receiving this fall for the H1N1 virus. Edie Nebel says they've been told to find out how many people fit the priority group, which would include children and healthcare workers. She says they're also forming an ethics committee for when they have to make decisions about who does and does not receive the vaccine.
Washington City Councilors are considering regulations that would apply to street vendors in the wake of a new barbecue stand operating on the square. John and Shelly Blakeney say they thought they had went through all the proper channels before they started serving food. The presence of John's Barbecue in downtown Washington has at least one business owner upset. Mario Savaidis owns Dino's Pizza. He says it's one thing to open a restaurant, but another to operate a food stand right outside his place. City councilors have granted the Blakeney's temporary permission to continue operating the barbecue stand until the issue is further explored in committee.
New digital mammography equipment at Washington County Hospital should allow them to serve more patients. Radiology Director Denny Brown says they can capture and process images more quickly now. Digital mammography produces an almost instant image on a monitor. That allows technicians to see if it's a good image right away, rather than having to process film and look at it on a view box.
A local state lawmaker says the federal government needs to take pointers from Iowa when it comes to healthcare reform. Fairfield Senator Becky Schmitz says the Hawk-I program should serve as an example. Schmitz points out that Hawk-I was started by a Republican governor, and supported by two Democratic governors.
A local lawmaker wants to see more of southeast Iowa become energy independent. Fairfield State Senator Becky Schmitz says the state government has set aside funds for both for-profit and non-profit organizations to make improvements that would help save energy and money. Schmitz says when things like heating and cooling efficiency is improved, more money can be saved on both residential and public utility bills. She says these local grants can range from one thousand to fifty thousand dollars.
The Washington Chamber of Commerce will soon publish a new community guide. Chamber Executive Director Tim Coffey says 5,000 total copies will be produced and distributed this winter. He says along with the printed guide, an electronic guide will also be produced and available to download from the Chamber website. Coffey says since 1996, the site has received 220-million visitors.
Congressman Dave Loebsack recently announced more than $7-million in flood recovery for the city of Coralville. Loebsack says these funds will come directly from the Economic Development Agency in addition to funds already in place. He says much of this money will go to constructing flood walls and elevating the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway Company rail line.