News Archive

Pork prices increasing as herd numbers decline


Iowa ranks 5th for Business Legal Climate

The US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform recently released its "2010 Lawsuit Climate" ranking of states. Iowa ranked 5th (out of 50) overall on how reasonable and balanced the states' tort liability systems are perceived to be by US business.

The report is a sample survey of 1,482 in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues.

The other top rated states were Delaware (1), North Dakota (2), Nebraska (3), Indiana (4). The worst rated states were California (46), Alabama (47), Mississippi (48), Louisiana (49), and West Virginia (50).

How Iowa ranked on individual issues:

  • Overall Treatment of Tort and Contract Litigation - 5th
  • Having and Enforcing Meaningful Venue Requirements - 2nd
  • Treatment of Class Action Suites and Mass Consolidation Suits - 6th
  • Damages - 5th
  • Timeliness of Summary Judgment or Dismissal - 8th
  • Discovery - 2nd
  • Scientific and Technical Evidence - 15th
  • Judges' Impartiality - 4th
  • Judges' Competence - 19th
  • Juries' Fairness - 3rd
The report states that 67% of survey respondents believed that a state's legal and litigation environment were important for business decisions on where to locate or do business.


Thursday, April 1 is CENSUS DAY!

This Thursday, April 1, is a special day. It is the official count day of the 2010 US Decennial Census.  Every household needs to complete and return the form. Otherwise, this summer they come and knock on your door to ask the questions in person, probably during dinner.

The 2010 Census asks just 10 questions about each person residing at your address on April 1.  Most are check-box answers or filling in your age... Easy enough to complete in under 10 minutes, which is how long it took me and my daughter a couple weeks ago. The return envelope doesn't even require a postage stamp!!  So much rides on having the most complete count of the population as possible.

The US Census Questionnaire Assistance Center in Washington County is at the Washington Free Public Library at 115 W. Washington Street, on the south side of the town square.

The Census Bureau will do another sample survey of US households requesting more detailed information called the "American Community Survey" which is now done annually. That survey is where a lot of great socio-economic info comes from.

So far, Washington County, Iowa has returned 48% of the expected returns, which is great.  The return rate for all of Iowa is currently 42%, so we're ahead of the game.  This updated map can be found at


Washington County is growing - slowly

The federal Census Bureau has recently released 2009 population estimates for Iowa and for Iowa Counties.  Since 2000, the state population of Iowa is estimated to have grown 2.8%, from 2,926,324 to 3,007,856.  For the first time, Iowa's population has finally broken the 3 million barrier.

Washington County is also estimated to have grown by 2.8% since the 2000 Census. In 2000, the County's population was 20,670. In 2009, the estimated population was 21,258.

In 2000, Washington County was the 32nd largest County out of 99 Iowa Counties. In 2009, Washington County was now the 28th most populous County.

Washington County has been the 13th fastest growing County in Iowa since 2000.  Only 22 Iowa Counties  have grown since 2000, while 79 Counties have lost population.

Washington County has grown by having a net influx of people moving into the County, including domestic as well as international movers.  The County also grew the old fashioned way, by having over 600 more births than deaths from 2000 to 2009.

Johnson and Washington Counties make up the Iowa City MSA.  The Iowa City MSA is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest and nation, with over 15% growth since 2000. This represents over 20,000 new people in the metro area, bringing the metro area population to over 152,000.

This confirms what most of us already knew; Washington County and the Iowa City MSA is a great, growing region in Southeast Iowa.

For data on all Iowa Counties, go the Iowa State Data Center


Wellman Parkside Activities Center

Tomorrow is an important day for Washington County.  After almost 20 years of planning work, the Wellman, IA community is having a groundbreaking ceremony at 6:00pm for the Parkside Activities Center.

This facility will include an early childcare center, a fitness and recreation complex, and multi-purpose meeting facilities.
The volunteers from the Wellman Area Foundation have pulled together $5.6 Million in funding for this project from many sources.  

These sources include 

In a new partnership, the Washington Community Y will manage the facility.

Kudos to Wellman on this community-changing project!

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