The National Weather Service has started daily reporting of ragweed andpollen counts from four Iowa locations — which many of you may now behearing on this station. So far, the ragweed and pollen counts are in thesingle digits, which one expert says is nothing to worry about.Dr. James Willie, a Des Moines allergist, says the numbers are preliminary.Dr. Willie says more severe ragweed counts of 200 or so should be reportedin a few weeks. He says the worst of the season usually comes around LaborDay, while it’ll taper off by October 1st or with the first freeze. If you’reallergic to ragweed, Willie says there’s little you can do.The reporting stations are in Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Des Moines andCedar Rapids.
Archives for July 1999
Four young Iowans learned about national politics this week in Washington,D.C. as delegates to Boys and Girls Nation. The four were chosen because oftheir involvement in Iowa’s American Legion Boys and Girls State activities.Megan (may-gun) Strader (stray’-der) of Guttenberg (gut’-en-berg) saysdelegates learn about government in a variety of ways. Strader says the highlight was meeting president Clinton at the White HouseWednesday.Greta Goerss (gores) of Spirit Lake says it’s a great opportunity to workwith her peers.Goerss also was impressed by the meeting with the president.Tom Laehn (lane) of Allison says the trip has given him inspiration for thefuture.Laehn (lane) says he would one day like to run for the U-S Senate. PresidentClinton made a similar visit to the White House as a teen Boy’s StateGovernor from Arkansas. Clinton has said his meeting with then-president JohnKennedy helped inspire his political career. The Iowa delegates return hometoday.
More federal disaster aid is headed to Iowa. Federal disaster declarations for individual and public assistance have beenapproved for Buchanan, Fayette, Howard and Mitchell counties in northeastIowa. In addition, Black Hawk, Butler, Bremer, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw,Clayton and Worth Counties have been granted disaster designations forpublic assistance to go along with earlier private assistance designations.The federal designation frees up federal funds for disaster relief. You cancall 800-462-9029 to register for help.
Archaeologists and University of Iowa students are digging through theremnants of a one-thousand-year-old Native American village in northwesternIowa. The site called “Broken Kettle West” is in the Loess Hills about eightmiles north of Sioux City and it’s proving to be rich in artifacts.U-of-I Anthropology professor Larry Zimmerman says he’s teaching thestudents archaeological techniques while on the real “dig.” He’s also tryingto teach them how to respect the remains of Native Americans and theirformerly sacred dwellings.Zimmerman says the site is believed to be the ancestral home of groups likethe Mandan, a tribe now living in North Dakota. He says he’s learned fromthe living Native Americans how to show respect for those who died manycenturies ago.The site is under excavation as a Plymouth County road is planned thatlikely would have obliterated and covered over the ancient village.
The interim associate director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center says as manyas half of Iowa pork producers may be not be able to survive the porkindustry’s financial downturn.Dr. James Kleibenstein, an ag economist, says an I-S-U study earlier thisyear predicted one-third of Iowa pork producers were in a “weak tovulnerable” financial position. However, prices haven’t rebounded to theextent expected in that study, so Kleibenstein says as many as half of Iowahog farmers may now be in “weak to vulnerable” financial straits. JamesMc-Kean is interim director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa StateUniversity.Mc-Kean says farmers who put all their resources in pork production probablywon’t be able to survive the loss of equity.
The recently-elected head of the Iowa Christian Coalition has been removedfrom office by national officials. Ex-Iowa Christian Coalition head Bobbie Gobel had accused the Steve Forbescampaign of plotting to hire temp workers to vote in the Iowa RepublicanParty’s Straw Poll August 14th. Forbes campaign officials strongly deniedher accusations and she later retracted her story. The National ChristianCoalition has ousted Gobel as well as the whole Iowa board of directors. Long-time Iowa Christian Coalition leader Ione (eye-own) Dilley has beennamed temporary leader of the Iowa arm of the conservative group.
As the August 14th Iowa Republican Party Straw Poll draws closer, someIowans are still searching for a presidential candidate to support. A Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” released about a month ago found 10percent of likely Iowa Republican Caucus-goers to be undecided. Among thatgroup is one political veteran: state Representative Teresa Garman of ruralAmes. Garman says she wants to find out more about the candidates beforemaking her choice.Garman plans to be among those who cast a ballot at the Iowa RepublicanParty’s straw poll, which will show which candidates are contenders for theG-O-P’s presidential nomination. Iowa Republican Party Chairman KayneRobinson is surprised only 10 percent of likely caucus-goers are undecidedthis early in the campaign. However, Robinson says most of those who attendthe August 14th Straw Poll will go to support a candidate.Many of the candidates plan to offer supporters a free lunch as well asentertainment in tents to be set up around Hilton Colesium in Ames.
The Army Corps of Engineers presented a study of navigation on theMississippi River at meeting in Davenport last night. Corps project managerGary Loss says improving the locks is a high priority.The Sierra Club is following the progress of the Corps’ study. Theenvironmental group’s spokesman Mark Beorkrem (burk’-rem) says any expansionof commercial navigation should be put on hold.Beorkrem says the environmental impact outweighs any benefits of expansion.Agricultural interests suuport the improvements to keep the costs of movinggrain down.
Iowans will feel relief from the heat at last, if they can endure one moreday in the oven. Forecasters say a cold front should flow over the HawkeyeState tonight and bring significantly cooler weather for the weekend andinto next week.Craig Cogil (coe’-gul) is a meteorologist at the National Weather Servicebureau in metro Des Moines. He says the expected highs in the 70s next weekwill be 20 or 30 degrees below the forecast highs for today. This isexpected to be the 18th day during July where it’s been at least 90 degrees.Cogil says today will be another steamy one as some Iowa cities may againreach the 100-degree mark. While we’ve seen heat advisories across the statemany times in the last several weeks, today eastern and central Iowa areunder a more extreme threat.Keokuk recorded a high of 106 yesterday. The highest reported heat indexcame from Sheldon with 143 at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon.
Fame and fortune continue to unfold for a Dubuque county farm couple who owna calf born with the Mickey Mouse symbol on its forehead. Darlene and Roger Simon of Farley own the unique brown and white heifer. Darlene says four or five cars come to their farm every day, stopping totake pictures of their calf. U-S-A Today recently featured “Mickey” in astory. Next month, the family will take Mickey to the Ohio State Fair. Thecouple has turned down offers from the Disney Corporation but won’t rule outfuture deals.