One way to eliminate trade in the illegal drug methamphetamine would be toeliminate one of its prime ingredients. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is hoping todo just that.Harkin is calling on USDA to initiate a research project to chemically alteranhydrous ammonia to render it useless to meth producers. Besides being usedto make meth, that chemical is used by farmers in fertilizing their fields.Harkin says the scientific work to defeat meth dealers is already underwayin central Iowa.Farmers across Iowa & elsewhere are seeing their anhydrous tanks broken orstolen by meth makers.
Archives for April 1999
A group of young adults from Colorado is in southwestern Iowa, helpingresidents rebuild their homes after tornadoes tore through the regionearlier this month. Ellen Gordon, Iowa’s Emergency Management Divisionchief, says the teams will focus on Adair and Union Counties.Damage from the series of storms April 8th exceeded eight-million dollars ineight counties. Gordon says the AmeriCorps volunteers will be helping out inthe worst-hit areas, repairing things like torn-up rooves, blown-out windowsand shredded siding.A team of crisis counselors from central Iowa was sent to Colorado a fewdays ago, following the high school shootings. Gordon says there’s a certainirony in the fact these volunteers are coming to Iowa from Colorado.The Colorado volunteers plan to be in Iowa through May 13th.
Police say a West Des Moines teacher was shot by his trench coat-wearing sonlast night. 36-year-old Mark Neal is hospitalized in critical condition afterbeing shot in the stomach with a sawed-off shotgun. Des Moines SergeantBruce Elrod says 17-year-old David Neal was taken into custody after a briefchase.The Littleton, Colorado, students who shot and killed a teacher, 12 otherstudents, and themselves last week were wearing trench coats. SergeantElrod says last night’s situation in the Des Moines teacher’s home is NOTrelated to the Colorado case.Mark Neal is a teacher at Des Moines Dowling High School. David Neal facesseveral charges including assault with intent to commit murder.
The Iowa State softball team used a pair of outstanding pitchingperformances to sweep Drake yesterday. The Cyclones won three-to-nothing ingame one and six-to-one in game two. Iowa State coach Ruth Crowu says herteam is playing well at the right time.In the second game, catcher Erin Woods smacked her ninth home run of theseason — a school record. The senior says she’s been getting good pitches.The Cyclones have won six in a row and travel to Missouri this weekend.
The Iowa State baseball team went on a rollercoaster ride in earning a winover Big Ten power Minnesota yesterday. The Cyclones blew a two-run lead inthe top of the ninth, then tied the game in the bottom of the inning. I-S-Uwon it in extra innings, seven to six. Iowa State coach Lyle Smith saysit’s a great win.The Cyclones have won two straight and they face Missouri this weekend.
The Iowa Barnstormers prepare for their home opener this Saturday night whenthey host defending Arena League champion Orlando. The Barnstormers openedthe regular season with a convincing win at Houston and coach John Gregorysays it was a good way to open the season.Gregory says while it was an impressive win, it was only the beginning of along road.Saturday’s game is the third annual Hall of Fame Founder’s game whichmatches Iowa against the defending Arena Bowl champion. Gregory says hostingthe game every year ensures the Barnstormers will have a tough home opener.Wide receiver/defensive back Carlos James says he knew during the pre-seasonthe Barnstormers were a vastly improved team.James believes the biggest difference this season is an improved defense.The Barnstormers picked off three Houston passes last week and James says agood push rush was the biggest factor.
Iowa’s four republican congressmen voted for a U-S House resolution askingthe President to pull U-S troops out of the action in Yugoslavia, but theresolution failed. Democrat Congressman Leonard Boswell voted against it. Congressman Jim Leach spoke on the House floor during debate. Leach saidcomparing Yugoslavia to Nazi Germany is a stretch.Leach said it is dangerous to compare what the Yugoslavian president isdoing to what Hitler did.Leach said it’s time to find a way to get out of Kosovo.The resolution failed on a 290 to 139 vote.
By a narrow margin, the Iowa House rejected what some called an anti-unionprovision in a campaign finance bill. The Senate had voted to force unionsand business groups to get written permission each year for using a portionof dues for political purposes. Representative Rick Larkin, a democrat fromFort Madison, said that was an “open attack” on unions.The House voted 51 to 49 to strip that proposal from the bill. Larkin saidit would just create more paperwork for unions and business associations,like the Farm Bureau.Republicans like Gary Blodgett of Clear Lake said the yearly permission slipshouldn’t be that great a burden.Representative Steve Sukup, a republican from Dougherty, said it made senseto require an annual permission slip for union dues.The bill also seeks to close a loophole created by a judge, allowingcorporations to donate to Iowa politicians. Governor Vilsack had threatenedto veto the bill if it contained the anti-union provision. The bill facesan uncertain future in the Senate.
The tragedy in Littleton, Colorado, has changed Iowa legislators’ minds abouta proposal aimed at kids who exhibit violent behavior at school.Earlier this year, the legislature didn’t take up Governor Vilsack’sproposal to take drivers licenses away from teenagers who assault teachers orother high school authority figures. The proposal also takes away drivingprivileges from high schoolers who take a gun or other dangerous weapon toschool. Now, the House has reversed course and endorsed the idea. Representative Pat Murphy, a democrat from Dubuque, spearheaded theabout-face.Murphy says driving is a privilege, not a right.Teenagers who are violent or take a weapon to school wouldn’t be able to get their driving privileges back until they reach 18.The proposal was drafted as an amendment and added to a budgetbill which won House approval yesterday.
During stops in Davenport and Des Moines, Vice President Al Gore staged”town hall” discussions about teen violence. In Davenport yesterdayafternoon, Gore spoke at J.B. Young Intermediate School where studentsattend an after-school program which teaches leadership and teamwork.Gore used the occasion to talk about new federally-financed after-schoolprograms.In Des Moines last night, Gore participated in a meeting staged andbroadcast “live” on television. Only M-S N-B-C and print reporters gained access to the event. Other radioand T-V reporters were barred. Afterwards during an interview with RadioIowa, the Vice President said there’s a danger in “under-reacting” to thetragedy in Littleton and yielding to the power of the gun lobby andentertainment industry.Gore wants child safety locks on all guns. He suggested it’s time tore-think the concealed weapons laws being considered by some states,including Colorado. And Gore would toughen penalties for adults who provideguns to minors. Gore said it’s time for a long, hard look at the culture ofviolence depicted in movies, video games and music as evidence shows somechildren are vulnerable to it and imitate the behavior.