Today in Washington - March 13, 2009

Donelle Pardee Whiting

In an additional effort to better inform the community about the proposed renovation of Washington Community High School, resulting in an $18.4 million referendum on the April 7 ballot, several community members formed a committee.

Washington Community High School Citizens Referendum Committee members set up a Web site,, and made a 10 1/2 minute video.

Members will also be going door-to-door, sending out mailings and e-mails.

Residents may also tour the high school on Mondays for the remainder of the month.

The tours are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 16 and 23.

These two dates are set up to allow residents to see the problems with crowding during the lunch periods.

There will be another tour at 5:30 p.m. March 30 prior to the Meet the Candidates event sponsored by the Washington Education Association.

The Meet the Candidates night is an excellent opportunity for voters to meet the school board candidates and hear what they have to say.

Remember, readers, and informed voter is a smart voter. So, take advantage of the opportunities to get the facts before April 7.


Mark Novy, owner of All Season Plumbing and Heating in Washington, has come up with a great way to give back to the community.

As a plumber, Mark knows all too well how a person’s water bill can become problematic when there is a water leak somewhere in a home’s pipes.

He said he also knows that with the economy currently in a slump, some homeowner’s may have trouble paying their bill.

So, he came up with an idea and talked it over with Mayor Gary Manier who, according to Mark, said it was a great idea.

Mark has decided that he will pull one resident’s name a week out of a hat. This person would be someone who needs a plumbing repair and is having trouble because of a slow economy.

This, dear readers, is an excellent idea. Mark said it was his way of giving back to the community.

Be sure to read his letter to the editor in the March 18 edition of the Washington Times-Reporter for the full details and how to submit a name of a deserving Washingtonian.


Although you may not have heard much from the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, members are  still raising money for a police dog.

This is a worthy, but costly endeavor. While some may not think Washington needs a dog, I disagree.

Some of our neighbors have a K-9 unit to aid with drug searches. While it does cost to have a dog, police departments with K-9 units put money seized in drug busts toward the care of the dog and its continued training with its human partner.

East Peoria, while larger than Washington, has one dog. And one would expect them to because of the size of the community and its proximity to Peoria.

But, what many may not know is Chillicothe, a town with about 6,000 residents, also has a dog.

And Metamora, a town similar in the same size as Washington, also has a K-9 unit. Metamora is in the same situation as we are, removed from the major interstate, but not that far from Peoria.

Sure we may not see the same level of drug traffic as Peoria, but that does not mean we don’t have a problem.

A K-9 unit would be a valuable asset to the community.

So, in addition to selling food at events on the square, such as the Fine Arts Festival in late summer, Heartland Pride and others, the CPAAA is putting together a trivia night for May 16 at the American Legion Hall.

Stay tuned for more details.


State Rep. Keith Sommer visited Washington Middle School March 6 to talk to the students about his career in politics and community service.

During his visit, Sommer led the students in a mock bill proposal and debate. This assembly kicked off the career unit at WMS.


Today in Washington is a type of blog. I am using it on a daily basis to keep you posted on what I am working on or brief items of interest.

Through this feature, I can continually post updates when I have a computer at my fingertips. That said, I am not always at a computer, so I can’t get information to you until then. But, this is basically an online journal that I am sharing with the readers.

So far, it seems to be a popular feature for visitors. It has been the most-visited page on our site, as you can see on the “Popular Stories” list. Because of that response, I have decided to make this part of my daily routine, minus weekends, of course.

But, I want to include more information. This is where you can take advantage of me. Post a comment or send me an e-mail at if you have any news or information that would be of interest to our readers.

I hope you enjoy the new feature. Feel free to make suggestions. I’d love some more ideas.