Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fairfield farmer announces candidacy for ag secretary

A Fairfield based dairy farmer has officially tossed his hat into the ring for Iowa's Agriculture Secretary in 2010. Francis Thicke formed an exploratory committee in March, and announced his candidacy yesterday (9/9). Thicke is seeking the Democratic Party's nomination, and is currently the only declared candidate making a run at incumbent Republican Bill Northey. 

218 down to one lane

Drivers heading south on US-218 will encounter some roadwork through tomorrow (9/11). The Iowa Department of Transportation says the right lane of the southbound road will be closed south of the Highway 22 interchange. The DOT says drivers may experience slight delays due to maintenance work. Drivers are urged to use caution in roadwork areas.

Bond vote more successful than previous years

Even though the Washington School bond measure didn't pass, it got more support than previous efforts. In 2006, two bond referenda fell short by roughly 20 percent. Then last year another proposal lacked about 12 percent. This time around, it needed nine percent more. It called for borrowing almost $12 million as part the first phase $36-million overhaul of the district's facilities.

Crop Update

Below average rainfall last week combined with low humidity came as welcome news to many Iowa Farmers, especially those in low lying areas on the eastern side of the state. Greg Tahssen , with the U-S-D-A, says disease continues to be a concern. Tahssen says corn and soybean conditions statewide are still in good to excellent conditions, but progress is well behind. Two percent on corn in southeast Iowa is safe from frost, that compares with the five year average of 17 percent.

Disease report: Washington Co. healthy overall

The Iowa Department of Public Health released their annual disease report yesterday and Washington County looks pretty healthy. Public Health Director Edie Nebel says most of the reports in the county include isolated cases of food-borne illnesses. Nebel says whenever a case is reported in Washington, an investigation is set up to find out how and where the person got sick. 

Louisa Extension offers smoking cessation

The Louisa County Extension Office is offering a free smoking cessation class in October. The Extension's Kaitlyn Wintermeyer says 83 percent of current smokers in Iowa say they wish they could quit. She says this program will help prevent and deal with cravings. The program October 14 through November 25. To register, call 319-523-2381. 

MSW SWEEP this Saturday

Main Street Washington is having a SWEEP, or Support Washington's Economic Enhancement Projects, event this Saturday. Executive Director Amy Vetter says it's a celebration to recognize the completion of the sidewalks on East Washington Street. She says there will be a prize given for the most creatively decorated broom. The sweep is being held in conjunction with Washington's annual Craft Show, which features more than 100 exhibits and vendors from across the Midwest. 

Family 4-H Program

The Washington County 4-H program is trying to get more families involved. They're hosting a session with their volunteers to teach them how to better encourage family involvement in 4-H, as part of the Iowa State University Extension Youth Development training. The statewide goal is to prepare volunteers who work with young people. The Washington session is September 16 at the County Fairgrounds.