News

Wed
06
Feb
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Linn Lutheran tops bee

The oral spelldown participants in Saturday’s Washington County Spelling Bee were the top three finishers from grades 6-8 in the written portion of the event. Claire Beikmann is seen here spelling one of her words during the oral spelldown.

The oral spelldown participants in Saturday’s Washington County Spelling Bee were the top three finishers from grades 6-8 in the written portion of the event. Claire Beikmann is seen here spelling one of her words during the oral spelldown

 

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Wed
30
Jan
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Bott improves land through grazing

Raymond Bott will receive this year’s Range Management Award for his work to improve the grass on former CRP land.

Raymond Bott said cows have four big feet and one big mouth, so they are capable of walking for their food. The Washington man’s cows, which he owns and manages with the help of his son, Luke, graze pasture and crop fields year-round and are fed very little hay each year. Bott’s commitment to rotational grazing, cover crops and soil health have earned him this year’s Col. Donald C. Peterson Range Management Award from the Natural Resources and Conservation Service.

Bott said the grassland he owns, which is all located in the Kimeo area, was in CRP for 20-plus years, and he wanted to get it out for a long time. The land came out of CRP between 2007-2010, and the Botts were left with “clumpy” grass typical of expired CRP, he said.

“If we are going to have the land we might as well try to make it profitable,” he said of his efforts to set up a rotational grazing system about 10 years ago after the land came out of CRP.

Wed
30
Jan
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Wilsons plant thousands of trees

Reed and Christine Wilson, of Clyde, are this year’s Fish and Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award winners for the county. They posed with a few of their 400 oak trees.

Reed Wilson’s love for hunting, fishing and wildlife has inspired him to plant more than 3,400 trees and shrubs. The nearly 400 young oak trees that line a creek north of Clifton have been Wilson’s greatest project, he said, adding that he hopes those trees provide plenty of acorns for deer, squirrels and turkeys in another 25 years. The commitment to providing future habitat and food for wildlife has earned Reed and Christine Wilson, who live in Clyde, this year’s Fish and Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Award.

“I have had a love of fishing and hunting as well as wildlife in general as long as I can remember,” said Reed Wilson, who is a claims manager for Farm Bureau. “I had about an unlimited number of acres to hunt while growing up.”

But times were changing in Kansas, and he said he was concerned that the day would come when he would have to own or lease land in Kansas to be able to hunt here. He owned no farm land.

Wed
30
Jan
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Cromwells receive award for terrace work

Jody and Kevin Cromwell, of rural Haddam, have been named this year’s Soil Conservation Award winners and will be honored at Saturday’s annual conservation banquet.

Terraces cost a lot of money to put in, Kevin Cromwell said, so he does his best to maintain them so that he doesn’t have to put them in twice. The excessive rain the second half of last year was hard on his terraces, he said, and the effort to repair those terraces since has been “more than normal.” Kevin and Jody Cromwell’s commitment to soil conservation has earned them this year’s Soil Conservation Award, which the rural Haddam couple will receive at Saturday’s annual banquet.

“I don’t have a field without a terrace or waterways,” Cromwell said.

The Cromwells just completed about a year ago the installation of terraces on a field they recently purchased. That land had little to no terraces despite being farmed for many years by previous owners. Cromwell said he is committed to terraces because they protect the field’s topsoil. He said he has a field that lost so much topsoil prior to being terraced that it can barely grow grass.

Thu
24
Jan
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Former Greenleaf dentist retires

Dr. David and Cheri Hamel, pictured here in a News photo from June 1977, operated a dental practice in Greenleaf until the 1990s. The couple has had a practice in Marysville and retired at the end of December.

BY CYNTHIA SCHEER

Dr. David Hamel, of Marysville, retired from dentistry at the end of December. He previously practiced in Greenleaf for about 19 years.

Hamel was a dentist for 41.5 years and began his career in Greenleaf in June 1977 after he graduated with distinction in the Top 10 percent of his class earlier that year from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Hamel, who grew up near Horton in Brown County, said he decided to move to Greenleaf because his home-town dentist, Dr. Jerry Young, was from Washington County, and Hamel wanted to find a small community to raise his family.

 

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Thu
24
Jan
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Number of deer-vehicle collisions increases in 2018

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office there were 155 deer/vehicle collisions in the county in 2018. The number of collisions in December was the most since at least 2014. Last year had the second largest number of collisions in the past five years.

The number of vehicle-deer collisions increased in Washington County last year, according to information from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. According to accident reports there were 155 deer collisions in 2018, which was an increase of eight accidents over 2017.

According to the sheriff’s office there were 141 deer collisions in 2014, 142 collisions in 2015, 170 collisions in 2016 and 147 collisions in 2017.

 

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Thu
24
Jan
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Area has fifth-wettest year on record

BY CYNTHIA SCHEER

The 40-some inches of precipitation recorded for the area during the past year has earned 2018 a place in the record books. According to Mary Knapp with the Weather Data Library, a National Weather Service co-op site located south of Washington recorded 42.75 inches of precipitation in 2018, which ranks the year as the fifth-wettest on record for Washington. The normal, or 10-year average, for the year is 31.88 inches.

The wettest year on record was 1993 when the National Weather Service recorded 53 inches for Washington.

Thu
17
Jan
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Zabokrtsky sworn in to board of commissioners

Scott Zabokrtsky was sworn into office on Monday by county clerk Diana Svanda.

Commissioner Tim Mueller joined the Board of County Commissioners one final time Monday morning before Scott Zabokrtsky was sworn in and took over Mueller’s position shortly after the meeting was called to order. Immediately after the swearing in Mueller shook hands with the other commissioners, gave county clerk Diana Svanda a hug, and left the meeting.

Mueller just completed his four-year term and did not seek re-election to the District 1 seat on the board.

The board is now young: Two of the board’s three commissioners have joined the board in the past three months; Raleigh Ordoyne was appointed to Gary Ouellette’s seat last fall. Commissioner David Willbrant is beginning his third year on the board.

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Thu
17
Jan
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Heavy, wet snow blankets county, more forecasted for this weekend

Washington’s Munchkinland was transformed into a snowy wonderland over the weekend as 4-to-6 inches of snow fell over the county. More snow is coming. Photo by CHASE BRAZZLE / WCN

The county received anywhere from four to six inches of snow Friday night into Saturday, according to the Weather Data Library’s Mary Knapp. That snowfall had a melted equivalent of anywhere from .4 to .65 inches of rain, according to trained officials who submitted the reports. The Barnes and Greenleaf areas were on the lighter side of the snow fall while the Washington and Haddam areas recorded the larger totals.

According to official totals reported to the Weather Data Library, an area 3.7 miles east-northeast of Greenleaf recorded 4 inches of snow, an area 7.8 miles south-southeast of Greenleaf reported 4.2 inches, Barnes received 4. 3 inches of snow, the Palmer area recorded 4.5 inches and Washington recorded 4.6 inches of snow.

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Thu
17
Jan
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Zabokrtsky begins commissioner term

Scott Zabokrtsky

Scott Zabokrtsky, of Hanover, was sworn in on Monday as the county commissioner for District 1, which encompasses the Hanover, Barnes, Greenleaf and Palmer areas. He ran unopposed for the position and was elected in November. Tim Mueller, who had occupied that seat, served the district for four years and did not run for re-election.

Zabokrtsky, who lives in Hanover, has been a fulltime farmer throughout his life. He was raised in the Barnes area and went to school at Hanover. He now raises cattle, corn, soybeans and wheat in the Barnes and Greenleaf areas. His wife, Dawn, is a registered nurse in Hanover, and the couple has two children in college and one in high school.

Zabokrtsky said there was ‘no particular reason’ that he decided to run for the commissioner position.

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