No more whining that there’s nothing to do. The Winter Games are underway today and tomorrow at the fictional University of Okoboji on the Iowa Great Lakes. The events range from chocolate-tasting to hockey and from snowmobile races to dog-sledding.Carol Caviness is spokeswoman for the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. She says the events get underway at 7 this morning with a pancake breakfast.Caviness says the Winter Games are a way to showcase the area’s many year-round activities.For more information on the Games, call 800-270-2574.
Archives for January 2000
A gay rights amendment to Davenport’s civil rights ordinance made it through committee Thursday & will go before the full City Council next week. It would prohibit discrimination against homosexuals, according to Judy Moral, director of the Davenport Civil Rights Commission.Moral says the city would -not- be offering special protection to anyone. She says it would just be offering -equal- protection for all people.Some city council members, like Alderman George Nicholas, disagree with Moral’s call to add “sexual preference” to the list of protected classes.Only three Iowa cities have passed such gay rights ordinances: Ames, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Dubuque considered a proposal last August, which was rejected.
One western Iowa lawmaker has responded to a year-old challenge thrown down by the former Speaker of the Iowa House — and present Speaker Brent Siegrist. Representative Brad Hanson of Carter Lake went to a steakhouse on Wednesday night to step up to the plate, so to speak. Hanson ate a 56 ounce steak, something he’d bragged last year that he could easily accomplish.Representative Steve Sukup — the Speaker Pro Tempore — was a witness to Hanson’s achievement. Sukup says Hanson did knife off some of the fat on the steak.
Kurt Warner skyrocketed from the Arena League in Des Moines to N-F-L M-V-P, but his career isn’t the only thing flying high. Warner and St. Louis Rams paraphernalia are selling at a record pace across Iowa and the country. Dave Murphy, salesman at the Team Spirit store in Des Moines, says the Rams merchandise is selling like the great teams of old.Kurt Warner merchandise is the number-one item sold at local sports retailers. Murphy says Warner stuff is selling extremely fast and it’s tough to find.Murphy expects to sell a lot more Warner and Rams merchandise after Sunday’s Super Bowl.
A study by a Cedar Rapids-based anti-gun group finds most Iowans who’re killed by guns knew the person who killed them. Jeremy Prevention of Gun Violence.Brigham says the study of Iowa gun deaths between 1996 and ’98 found that 73-percent Brigham is a board member of Iowans for the of gun homicides occurred between people either in domestic settings or between acquaintances. He says only 11-percent of the Iowa gun deaths were in the context of a crime, like robbery or rape.Governor Vilsack proposed in his Condition of the State address a few weeks ago that legislators pass a measure requiring trigger locks on all guns sold in Iowa. Brigham says that’s a good start and his group plans to push for more ways to reduce gun deaths.The group’s study found only three of 102 Iowa gun homicide victims were shot as home intruders. Also, it found a disproportionate number of Iowa’s gun homicide victims were in Polk County — 39-percent — even though the county is only home to 13-percent of the state’s population.
In women’s basketball action last night, Southwest Missouri State outscored Northern Iowa 18-4 down the stretch to post a 59-41 victory. Allison Starr led U-N-I with 14-points and added 10-rebounds.U-N-I coach Tony Dicecco says his team had trouble converting at crunch time.Drake cruised to a 74-54 win over Illinois State. The inside duo of Haley Sames and Carla Bennett combined for 35-points in the win.Drake coach Lisa Bluder, says she was pleased with the performance.
Republican legislators appear set to give public schools about 67-and-a-half million dollars in additional state aid for the 2001/2002 school year. But lawmakers may NOT give growing schools an extra chunk of state aid to deal with packed classrooms, nor are they willing to guarantee schools with declining enrollment the same amount of state money. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says it’s a tough decision.Senate President Mary Kramer, a republican from West Des Moines, says it’s a philosophical question.Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says legislators may give schools with growing enrollment AND those with declining student numbers the authority to raise local property taxes to bolster their budgets.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says most schools in Iowa are seeing lower student enrollment.Siegrist says that’s why the legislature will give local property taxpayers the decision of whether to keep shrinking schools open by increasing their taxes — or deciding to consolidate with neighboring districts to cut costs.
A southeast Iowa lawmaker wants to make the “channel cat” Iowa’s official fish. Senator Gene Fraise of Fort Madison says the channel catfish was here in the waters of the Mississippi before the state was a state.Fraise says the catfish has a long and storied history.Fraise says there are a number of commercial “aqua-farming” operations raising catfish in Iowa, and the move would celebrate that industry.So, is Governor Vilsack backing the move to name the catfish Iowa’s official state fish?Vilsack says he’s more concerned about ensuring the water the catfish swims in is clean.
For the first time in the history of the Iowa State Patrol, a woman will be promoted to the rank of captain today. Donna Bacus, a lieutenant for the moment, has been on the force 22 years and says she feels she’s perhaps not deserving of the new rank but will do her best as a captain.Bacus is a Knoxville native who entered the law enforcement academy in 1977, along with her sister, Kathy, who served as a state trooper for eight years. There are about 440 Iowa State Patrol officers, but only 13 are women. Bacus is single and says that’s been an advantage for her law enforcement career.Bacus was “on the street” for many years but now serves as executive assistant to the commissioner at the Public Safety headquarters in Des Moines. The double gold bars of the captain’s rank will be pinned on during today’s promotion ceremony at 9 a-m.
Senator Tom Harkin says President Clinton’s “State of the Union” address laid out “pro-family” initiatives.Harkin supports Clinton’s call for photo licenses and safety courses for gun owners.Harkin says the speech highlighted the record of the past eight years.Senator Charles Grassley says President Clinton’s address laid out too many initiatives.Grassley says Clinton can’t claim to have fiscal discipline when he called for all those new federal initiatives.Grassley opposes the President’s gun licensing idea. He calls them violations of the second of the amendmandt and says there isn’t adequate enforcement of the existing laws.Congressman Greg Ganske, a republican from Des Moines, says there was bi-partisan support at the beginning of the speech for Clinton’s call to erase the federal debt. He says that erroded as Clinton propsed how to spend the surplus in the next 34-pages of the speech.Congressman Jim Nussle, a republican from Manchester, agrees that Clinton proposed a lot of new federal spending. He says Clinton always gives a good speech, but never says how much it will cost.Congressman Leonard Boswell, a democrat from Davis City, says the Presidentoutlined spending ideas that are important to Americans. Boswell says it was a high energy speech that kept on track with what the president has tried to do.In a prepared statement, Congressman Tom Latham said Congress will have to cut through Clinton’s “rhetoric and ask where the money will come from.”Congressman Jim Leach is out of the country, but in a prepared statement Leach said he hopes the “coming year can be hallmarked by greater cooperation rather than bickering between the Executive and Legislative branches.”