Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Washington School Facilities Committee is moving to the next phase of architect screenings tomorrow (8/27). They'll be interviewing Cedar Rapids based OPN at 3:30, Des Moines based DLR Group at 5:00, and West Des Moines' SVPA at 6:30. Architects are being chosen to help with a proposed facility overhaul of all school district buildings, and construction of a new high school. Whether that happens is contingent upon voters approving more than $11-million in bonds during the September 8th Election.
Washington's old Wal-Mart building will be occupied again by next year. Orscheln Farm and Home's corporate office tells KCII their Washington store will be moving to the former Wal-Mart location sometime during the the 2010 calendar year. The store is currently operating in the 1600 Block of East Washington. Management at the local location say they are unable to comment at this time. The company specializes in outdoor, farm, ranch and rural lifestyle items.
Statewide unemployment numbers edged up to 6.5 percent last month, hitting a mark not seen since 1986. Iowa Work Force Development Director Elizabeth Buck says most jobs were lost in manufacturing. In Washington County, unemployment numbers dropped slightly from 5.3 to 5.2 percent last month. Local and statewide numbers are still favorable when compared with the nation as a whole. The U-S unemployment rate was at 9.4 percent in July.
Cool, wet weather continues to keep Iowa crop development behind schedule. However, most corn and soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. Gene Mohling is a regional director with the ISU Extension Service. He says pests and disease continue to be a concern. 93 percent of corn is in or past the milk stage, which is on par with the five year average. 88 percent of soybeans are setting pods, which is about eight percent behind average.
Simply throwing away prescription drug containers may be a dangerous way to get rid of them. Senior Medicare Patrol Planning Director Brenda Sayre says the user information on the labels can be used by identity thieves to retrieve valuable personal information. Sayre says any papers that have social security numbers or Medicare numbers should be shredded to avoid danger. She also says blacking out a persons name or other personal information on labels is also helpful.
New products and services will be the focus at the Iowa Cattlemens Associations regional meeting next Thursday (9/2). ICA Communications Manager Trent Wellman says the organizations executive vice president will be on hand to provide an ICA update, and a DNR representative will speak to the group about watershed programs for cow and calf operations. Wellman says the group will also hold an election for the Southeast Regional Vice President position. If you are interested in attending, call 1-800-888-1730.
The Washington County Extension Office is reminding confinement operators and commercial manure applicators that they are required to undergo regular training. Iowa law mandates two hours of continuing education annually, and or take and pass an exam once every three years. The continuing education and the test are available at local DNR offices. For more information contact the Washington County Extension.
Two southeast Iowans won big at the State Fair this past week with a little help from some unusually large rabbits. Marge Westercamp of Batavia won top honors in the Largest Rabbit contest on Friday with Fawny, her 20 lb. 4 oz. pet. Westercamps rabbit easily stood above the next largest one by more than four pounts. Brightons Jennifer Wharton placed second with 16 lb. 2 oz. rabbit Jack.