Anyone with Internet access will now be able to view detailed and specialized maps of Iowa. Department of Transportation maps originally designed “for internal use only” are now available to the public over the World Wide Web.Peggi Knight is a D-O-T Transportation Engineer Manager. She says these city and county maps will be valuable tools for anyone who needs to know the layout of Iowa’s municipalities and rural areas.Knight says the maps are very detailed and can be best viewed by downloading specialized software, which is usually free or very inexpensive.For more information, go to: www.dot.state.ia.us/transdata
Archives for March 2000
Investigators in Sioux City are trying to determine what caused a house to explode. Fire Department spokesman Brian Thiele says neighbors reported the blast this morning just before three.Thiele says there was debris spread all over from the explosion as the front of the house blew out and the roof collapsed.A neighbor’s home also suffered minor damage. Thiele says the State Fire Marshal was already in town on a visit and is helping with the investigation. He says it could involve a gas line.The rental home was unoccupied at the time of the explosion. A family was scheduled to move in this weekend.
Continued dry weather has placed about one-tenth of the state under a burn ban. Madison County has been added to the list of eight other counties where open burning is now prohibited. State Fire Marshal Roy Marshall:says damaging and dangerous grass fires are springing up around the state. Some of the largest have been in Benton and Johnson counties. He outlines the restrictions now in effect in the nine counties under the ban.Counties that join Madison in the burning ban are: Appanoose, Cherokee, Osceola, Lyon, Mahaska, Tama, Taylor, Wapello.
Authorities in eastern Iowa believe a man’s death may be linked to chemicals used to make methamphetamine. 37-year old Mike Stealy was found dead on the back steps of his home in Dewar Wednesday. Officials say it appears Stealy may have been dead for some time. Black Hawk County deputies found a gas tank that had been altered to transport anhydrous ammonia, a key chemical used in making meth, in his pickup. A hazardous materials team also found high readings of ether and ammonia around Stealy’s house. An autopsy is being conducted to determine if the chemicals indeed caused the man’s death.
Some Iowans complain they still haven’t gotten a census form, but officials say half of all Hawkeye State residents have already returned their forms. If too few respond, the state could lose one of its five seats in the U-S House, but Iowa Congressman Tom Latham isn’t worried that will happen.Census officials say 50-percent of Iowans have returned their forms, that’s ahead of the national average of 44-percent. Iowa and Minnesota tied for 2nd place in the 1990 census with 76-percent compliance. There’s continued grumbling over the nature of some questions on the long form, but Latham says people shouldn’t be concerned.Latham says people should answer all questions, even those about income, and rest assured the information will be kept private. Latham is a republican from Alexander and represents Iowa’s fifth district, which would be lost with too small a count. He says there’s a lot of money at stake with the census responses — in areas people might not have considered. He says things like airlines coming into cities involve stats gathered by the census.Census officials say 60-percent of residents in Bremer, Grundy and Mitchell counties have returned their forms, while the low is 33-percent in Dickinson County. Anyone who hasn’t gotten a census form should call 800-471-9424.
There was an unusual start to work in the Iowa House this morning. As is the custom, the Iowa House began its day with a prayer. Today, it was the Prayer of St. Francis sung by Reverend Lola Rosenberg of Calumet.Then, Representative Mike Jager apologized for swearing loudly on the House floor on Wednesday. Jager began by noting the partisan squabbling that’s the hallmark of debate in the House. He says the debate had been bitter and emotional in the past few days. He says the legislature should be challenged to keep the debate on a passionate, yet intellectual plane.Jager, a republican from La Porte City, was angered yesterday by remarks made by a female colleague. As Jager walked off the House floor, he uttered an obscene phrase within earshot of elementary students, high schoolers and several secretaries.
A U-S Supreme Court ruling on nude dancing in bars has little effect on Iowa’s three-year-old law which has banned topless and bottomless dancing here. Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Marek handled the case whenIowa’s law was challenged by the owners of three “juice bars.” He says a district court upheld the consitutionality of the new law and then an appeals court affirmed the decision two years ago.The U-S Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local goverments do have the authority to order dancers to wear a little something, like pasties and g-strings, to cover themselves. Marek says that case has no bearing on
An unusual ruling could mean an elderly sex offender won’t serve any prison time on state charges. 72-year-old Roland Thomson pleaded guilty yesterday to state charges after he took sexually suggestive photos of girls as an elementary school volunteer in Iowa City. Before the sentencing, one parent submitted a “victim impact statement” to the judge saying his daughter is more suspicious of all males. He says his daughter has lost her childhood innocence.Thomson, who has moved from the Iowa City area to Des Moines, was sentenced to two years in prison, but the case will be reviewed after he serves his time on the federal pornography charges. The family of one victim wants to see Thomson serve the maximum sentence.Thomson’s attorney, William Kuttmus, argued Thomson has already been punished for the crime. Kuttmus says his client is not going free, he’s going to prison and won’t be a threat to society.Thomson was sentenced earlier this month to one year & one day in a federal prison, a sentence that begins Monday.
One of the state’s top high school football teams has a new coach. Iowa City West defensive coordinator Dan Dvorack will move up to the top spot this fall. Dvorack replaces Reese Morgan who left West to become an assistant for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa City West has won the last two 4-A state championships.
The Iowa State softball team returns to Big-12 play with a doubleheader at Oklahoma on Friday. The Cyclones are 13-10 overall and 2-2 in conference play after splitting a doubleheader with Missouri on Tuesday. Fourth year coach Ruth Crowe has an experienced team that has blended in a solid group of freshmen.The program has made strides the last three years and Crowe feels while the start has been pretty good, they actually were expecting more success at this point. She says it’s a matter of quickly turning the corner now that they’re playing a tough conference schedule.After the doubleheader at Oklahoma, the Cyclones visit an Oklahoma State team that Crowe says has also been nationally-ranked this spring.