Winter may not be over, but we are already entering into tornado season, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), which states that March through June to be the most active months for tornadoes.
Not only is it a good time to refresh yourself with storm safety, but it’s also imperative to come up with a plan of action in case you are faced with a dangerous storm.
The level of storms can be confusing. Severe thunderstorms are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph. Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.
According to the NWS, a watch means that conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur. A warning means that a tornado has been seen or picked up by radar. A warning requires you to take shelter and brace for a potential tornado.
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has actually been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. This means that you need to take shelter immediately.
Things you can do to prepare for a storm according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Watch the skies and check the forecast for severe weather: Listen to local news or a Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
Sign Up for Notification Apps: Sirens are meant for those who are outside. You can’t always hear sirens when you are inside. Sign up to receive weather notifications on your phone.
Create a Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.
Hold Drills: Conduct periodic family drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a severe storm occurs. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.
At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.
For more information about storm safety, visit www.cdc.gov.
Below are a few renderings of what the library might look like after it is complete. According to Library Director, Jeaneal Weeks, the completed look may vary slightly, because of rising costs of materials. However, the expansion, which includes a lower level with a storm shelter, will enhance the quality of patrons' library experience overall.
Spring is still 3 weeks away, and though we will experience colder than normal temperatures the the next couple of weeks, we will eventually get our spring.
However, the worst is over, and just the fact that February is over makes everything better. When most people think of March, they think of warmer days, budding trees and flowers, and the shedding of winter coats.
But if that's not enough to get excited, here are a few more reasons to love March, courtesy of Reader's Digest.
March 1: As the saying goes, March comes “in like a lion, out like a lamb.” That was certainly true on March 1st, 2007, when a detachment of 170 Swiss infantrymen accidentally invaded neighboring Liechtenstein when they got lost on a training mission.
March 2: NASA astronaut Scott Kelly returned from space after one full year, setting a new record for the longest uninterrupted trip to space.
March 5: Thirsty bros observe Cinco De Marcho, initiating a 12-day drinking regimen for anyone who wishes to “train one’s liver for the closing ceremonies on St. Patrick’s Day.” By the way, this is why we wear green for St. Patrick’s Day.
March 6: The Day of The Dude encourages participants to honor The Big Lebowski by takin’er easy all day, man.
March 10: Daylight saving time begins, freeing American city-dwellers from the constant refrain of “it’s dark before I even leave work.” Don’t miss these other daylight saving time facts you probably didn’t know.
March 14: Pi Day celebrates the annual occurrence of 3/14 (3.14) with math jokes, pi-reciting competitions, and (of course) freshly baked pie.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day turns the Chicago River green, and too many livers cirrhosis-damage-brown. (You’ll want to check out these St. Patrick’s Day “facts” that are actually false.) And on this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon” first hits the Billboard Top 200 chart at number 95. A mere 14 years later (736 chart weeks, to be exact), it finally leaves the top 200 for the first time, setting a still-unbroken world record. (You’ve got a long way to go, Adele.)
March 20: The sun shines on the equator for the Vernal Equinox, giving us a near 50-50 split of day and night.
March 21: The 13th anniversary (2006) Twitter founder Jack Dorsey inaugurates the social media site with its profound first tweet: “just setting up my twttr”
Three Hiawatha firefighters were recent;y honored for their hard work and dedication.
Hiawatha firefighter, Stephen Craven, was recognized Jan. 8 at the department’s Awards Celebration as Hiawatha’s 2018 Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. Steve has been with Hiawatha Fire Department since 1997 and has served in a number of roles and has been one of the main pump and driving instructors.
Hiawatha Firefighter, Dan Veerhusen, was presented with the 2018 Paid Firefighter of the Year Award Jan. 10. And Shay Minear received the “Caring for the Community” award Jan. 8 or her work with public education.
In other news, members if the Hiawatha Fire Department and Bettendorf Fire Department covered for Camanche Fire Department during the services for fallen firefighter Lt. Eric Hosette, who died Jan. 5, while responding to a fire followed by an explosion at a grain processing facility in Clinton. A second firefighter, Adam Cain, 23, was injured during the blast and taken to Iowa City in critical condition.
A community service was held for Lt. Hosette Jan. 12 at the Riverview Bandshell in Clinton's Riverview Park, followed by private burial services. Eric is survived by his wife, Kelly, and his daughter, Addalyn. Memorials and donations can be made to a fund established at Clinton National Bank.
According to Eric’s obituary, his lifelong dream was to be a firefighter and started as a volunteer with the Camanche Fire Department. He joined the Clinton Fire Department on September 17, 2006 and was promoted Lieutenant on August 25, 2017. He was also the current Fire Chief of the Charlotte Fire Department. Just weeks before he was killed, Eric was named chief of the Charlotte Fire Department, a role his grandfather served in for 35 years.
Eric Michael Hosette was born on June 22, 1985 in Clinton, Iowa, the son of William and Gail (Grimm). He was a 2003 graduate of Camanche High School. He later attended the Trinity School of Nursing for paramedic certification.
On Sunday officials released an update saying he is now breathing on his own and he is awake and alert.
A second firefighter was also injured. Clinton Fire Chief Mike Brown also spoke about the injured firefighter, identifying him as FF Adam Cain. Chief Brown says Cain was first missing after the explosion. Once found, he was flown to Iowa City where he is now in critical, but stable condition.
Hiawatha residents gathered at City Hall Jan. 10 to meet with representatives from Bolton & Menk, an engineering firm, about future plans for Robins Road.
Boards were displayed around the multi-purpose room, which showed different goals, architectural designs, public space preferences, and streetscapes for Robns Road. Residents were asked to choose their preferences by placing a sticker on that particular space.
Adrian Holmes, a representative from Bolton & Menk, said this was the first in a series of public meetings, in which the public will be invited to share ideas before the report is submitted to the city of Hiawatha.
For more information and to see maps of the area, visit the city's website.
Something is different about the annual Lil Cougar dance clinic, held every January at the Hiawatha Community Center.
The clinic will still be taught by members of the Kennedy High School Dance Team. However, this year the team is going to teach the kids a dance routine by popular dance star, JoJo Siwa. JoJo Siwa is known for her big hair bows and style of dancing, who became popular through the TV series 'Dance Moms'.
According to Ambyr Severson, Parks and Rec coordinator, it is the same format as in previous years. The participants will learn a dance routine and then perform it at the end of the clinic.
The clinic will be held Sunday, January 27 from 1 to 2 pm, with the performance at 2 pm. The cost of the clinic, open to kids from kindergarten to 5th grade, is $25. Each participant will receive an official JoJo Bow at the completion of the program. For more information and to register visit the city's website.
Graphic by Cynthia Petersen/Pixabay
The Hiawatha Library is more than just books. It’s also a gathering place for several clubs.
Most of the clubs meet once or twice a month, depending on the members. They gather and play games or share information, or use this time as a way to socialize.
The Scrabble Club meets the second Monday of every month at 5:30 pm. The Crochet Club meets every Wednesday at 6:00 pm. The Mystery Book Club meets the first Thursday of the month at 2 pm to discuss the latest thriller. And you can learn yoga at the Heartfulness Meditation, which meets every Sunday at 9 am, unless the Sunday falls in between or on a holiday.
A new writing club will meet for the first time Feb. 2 at 3 pm and meet the first Saturday of the each month. Participants are asked to bring a piece of their writing to share, as well as a beverage or a snack.
If you have an interest in any of the above mentioned clubs, or if you have an idea for a club, contact a staff member at the Hiawatha Library, 150 W. Willman Street in Hiawatha, or email Marta Petermann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national employment rate stands at 3.9 percent, while approximately 312,000 jobs were created in December 2018.
But even though the unemployment is one of the lowest since they started keeping tabs on statistics, it seems as though more people are looking for new jobs. Maybe you aren’t happy where you are; maybe you want to change directions in you career; or you’re recently retired and you need something to keep you busy.
If it’s been a while since you’ve had to look for a job, you may want to attend one, or all, of the job searching workshops that will be held at the Hiawatha Library in the next few months.
The workshops will be led by Amanda Reeder.
Job Search Series - Resume Writing
Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30 pm
New Year, New Career? Our Job Search Series continues with a look at resume writing. Learn the basics of resume writing. Bring your resume if you have it, or start creating your resume during our workshop. Attend one, two or all three parts of the series.
Job Search Series - Interview Tips and Techniques
Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 pm
New Year, New Career? Interviews can be tough. Learn the STAR method for answering tough interview questions clearly and concisely. Attend one, two or all three parts of the series.
You might have noticed the construction that has begun behind Dave Wright Nissan Subaru on the corner of Center Point and Boyson roads. Construction has begun on the expansion of the car dealership, as well as to make room for the new dog park.
According to Hiawatha Parks and Recreation director, Kelly Willadsen, the dog park should be completed by this fall.
“We are currently working on tree removal and had a volunteer day in November, along with the Linn County Chainsaw Response Team doing a winter chainsaw training,” she said. “We have the boundaries tentatively designated featuring a large dog area and a small dog area. We are designing a bridge that will connect the two areas over a creek. Once all the trees are removed, we will grade the area and install fencing. It’s a work in progress!”
The City of Hiawatha and Dave Wright formed a partnership for the dog park and will be open to the public.
Linn County Conservation
It won’t be long before Peck’s Landing will be open for business. The new retail center is located at the corner of Edgewood and Blairs Ferry roads.
The area just to the east of the center was once home to Peck’s Flower and Garden Shop, which was in operation for 61 years. The shop closed in 2017.
According to Hiawatha City Engineer, John Bender, if all goes well, the new tenants will be able to start moving in at the end of this month.
Bender said the development is the first phase of an even bigger project; an extension of Edgewood Road to Tower Terrace, and eventually to County Home Road. However, said Bender, the completion is still years away.
In addition to the new retail development, a new street, Peck’s Blvd., has been constructed between 18th Avenue and the new extension of Edgewood Road (the drive into the center), to help alleviate traffic in and out of the center.
Ahmann Companies are the developers of Peck’s Landing. They also developed 'The Fountains,' which is located across the street from Peck’s Landing. The company is also planning future developments along Edgewood Road, according to a recent article in the Gazette.
Other projects in the works for Hiawatha including a new stoplight at the corner of Willman Street and Center Point Road because of increasing traffic in that area. According to Bender, the project should be complete by late summer.
The City of Hiawatha is looking for the public's input regarding the Robins Road Corridor. An open house will be held Jan. 10 from 5-7 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room on the lower level of Hiawatha City Hall.
Bender said the city is also considering hiring a consultant to do a study of the railroad crossings in and around the city to see if a “quiet zone” is feasible for those areas.
Bender explained that some cities are choosing quiet zones, so they can do away with train whistles in some of the more populated areas. However, several factors have to be taken into consideration, including how well constructed the crossings gates are.
These crossings include Center Point Road, Emmons Street, Boyson Road, and Blair Ferry Road (with Cedar Rapids).
For more information about city projects visit the city’s website at hiawatha-iowa.com.
Bolton & Menk