A program targeting Iowa high schoolers who’re struggling for answers to life’s questions holds its first statewide meeting today. Iowa JAG Incorporated is designed to find “Jobs for America’s Graduates.” Events at today’s JAG Career Development Conference aim to teach students public speaking, interviewing and decision making.Cathy Davis is Iowa JAG program manager. The conference is being held in the Boone County town of Madrid in central Iowa. Davis says the 200 students at the conference today come from ten Iowa cities. She says JAG should help them find the “right path” from whatever troubles they face.Davis says 27 other states have JAG programs but Iowa’s version just got underway last year. She says goals include social and leadership development, motivation, community service — and career advancement.Iowa JAG is now operating: Burnside, Clinton, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, DeWitt, Glenwood, Goose Lake, Hampton, Marshalltown and Storm Lake.
Archives for April 2000
A 31-year-old man is accused of murdering an Ottumwa man whose body was found last week in a burned-out car near Eldon. Kenny Chris Hemm of Eldon was arrested last night for the murder of 53-year-old Larry Keith Pippenger. Wappello County authorities won’t comment about a murder weapon or whether there are other suspects. The Sheriff does say the two men were acquaintances. Pippenger’s body was discovered April 17th in a car sitting behind a farmhouse about three miles outside of Eldon. Firefighters were called to the scene by someone passing by who saw that the car was on fire. When the fire was out, firefighters found Pippenger’s body inside.
An Iowa City man is in custody, accused of paying two teenage girls for sex. Seventy-five year old Harold Manchester is charged with four counts of sexual abuse, eight counts of prostitution and four counts of distributing drugs to a minor. Iowa City police say over the past four months, two girls — ages 13 and 15 — willingly went to Manchester’s apartment at least four times and engaged in sex acts in exchange for money or crack cocaine. The names of the girls aren’t being released at this time. Police say an anonymous tip prompted their investigation. Police searched Manchester’s apartment Tuesday.
Two weeks remain in the Iowa Conference regular season baseball race, and Wartburg has a one game lead over Loras in the loss column heading into today’s doubleheader with Upper Iowa. Wartburg coach Joel Holst says at least four teams remain in the regular season title chase and Upper Iowa is one of them.Holst says with eight games remaining in the regular season a lot of things could happen.Holst says the championship experience on his team should be an advantage.
Panora native Kip Janvrin stands third in the Drake Relays decathlon after the first day of action. Janvrin is seeking an 11th Relays title in the event. Janvrin says his second day is usually when he scores best. He says he can outdo his competitors in the javelin and 1,500 meter run.Iowa State’s Barbara Szlendakova has a slim lead in the heptathalon following the opening day. She says she’s not happy with how she did in the high jump and shot put results. Szlendakova is hoping for a good second day to win the event, although she says her javelin throw is not strong and her 800 is “so weird.” She leads Wichita State’s Mellanee Welty by 26-points. Welty is going after a third straight title. She says there is much more competition this year.
Leaders of the Iowa Motor Truck Association object to new federal rules which seek to reduce the number of hours truckers can spend on the road. Scott Weiser is the executive director of the Iowa Motor Truck Association. He says the rules will upset their “just in time” delivery system.Weiser says the current rules are working, and there’s no need for changes. He says the industry has worked for 6 to 8 years on fatigue and they know when drivers should be allowed to drive.Weiser says if the new rules were in force today, there would need to be 180-thousand more semis on the road to handle the freight.The rules proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limit truckers to no more than 12 hours of driving in a 14-hour period, forcing longer, off-the-road breaks. And “long-haul” truckers who go on cross-country routes would have to be off-duty at least 10 consecutive hours each day.
The 2000 Iowa Legislature passed a nearly one-billion dollar education spending package last night, then adjourned for the year. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says the G-O-P budget plan does what it needs to do — and keeps the state in the black. He says, “We’re ready to go home, we’ve had a good year.” Rants says the legislature met the challenges it set at the beginning of the year.House Speaker Brent Siegrist, a republican from Council Bluffs, says the accomplishments of the session can be summed up in the Jimmy Buffett song title: Quietly Making Noise. He says, “We did a lot of things that are going to touch a lot of Iowans.”Republicans control the debate agenda in the Legislature, and democrats in the House and Senate are critical of the legislature’s work product. House Democrat Leader David Schrader of Monroe says there were many failings, such as lack of action on stricter standards for large-scale hog confinements. Schrader says the session moved sideways and compared governor Vilsack to a runner with a piano on his back doing the best he can. He says republicans did what they could to keep Vilsack from being successful.Senate Democrat Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says Republicans will rue their decisions on education spending. He says tuition will go up and higher education will be less affordable for thousands of students.But Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows defends the Republican record. He says they came together pretty well and did what the people of Iowa need them to do. Iverson says they did not take care of all of the desires of the people, but he says that’s not government’s function.Governor Vilsack says the legislature’s record is mixed, but successes came when Republicans worked cooperatively with democrats like him. Vilsack says, “a number of things were left on the table” because republicans weren’t willing to put aside partisanship and self interest to focus on the common interest.Among the legislature’s top accomplishments: a plan to use federal money to convert unused nursing home beds into assisted living apartments as well as the “Vision Iowa” program which will advance up to 200-million state tax dollars for large-scale recreation, education or cultural projects.
What did the 2000 Iowa Legislature do to and for you? If you’re a woman with an insurance policy which covers prescription drugs, that policy now covers contraceptives like the pill. Senator Jo Ann Johnson, a republican from Adel, was a key backer of the bill which forced that change, and calls it one of the best bills the legislature passed.If you go boating, make sure the boat’s captain doesn’t tip too many, as Iowa has a new drunken boating law with penalties similar to drunken driving. Bill Sanders of Des Moines lobbied lawmakers hard on the issue. Sanders wife, Dona, died in an accident caused by a drunken boater. If you’re driving toward a railroad crossing, keep this in mind. A new Iowa law has doubled the penalty for failing to obey a railroad crossing signal — and the penalty for racing a train has been quadrupled. Representative Todd Taylor of Cedar Rapids sponsored the bill. He says increasing the penalties will hopefully increase the awareness.Iowans who are accused of torturing animals will face tougher penalties as a result of a bill which cleared the 2000 Legislature. Governor Tom Vilsack will sign the bill into law this week.The single-most important pocket-book issue of the year is that “Tax Freedom Weekend” in August in which you can buy clothing and shoes without paying sales taxes on your purchases.
The Iowa Legislature adjourned for the year at about 10:30 last night, but not before a day-long fight over pot. The Iowa Senate voted to spend 20-thousand dollars on a study of industrial hemp. Senate President Mary Kramer put the proposal in a budget bill in tribute to out-going Senator Lyle Zieman, a republican farmer from Postville, who’s a long-time advocate of hemp as a cash crop. He says hemp fits in good with the crop rotation and would be a gold alternative to corn and beans. Zieman says hemp will be planted in test plots in North Dakota and Minnesota, and the fiber has thousands of uses. He says it can be used in food, clothing and lumber. He says one acre of hemp can produce as much lumber as four acres of trees. Zieman says it’s easy to tell marijuana and hemp apart. But many members in the House believe hemp is just like marijuana and they snuffed out the project. That’s Representative Chuck Larson of Cedar Rapids, who says Zieman is an unwitting pawn of those who want to legalize marijuana. Larson says industrialized hemp has been studied by many states and he says there isn’t any market for it. He says the people who promote the legalization of drugs try to find a conservative republican farmer to advocate hemp as a new crop, while on the west coast they advocate the medicinal use of marijuana. Iowa State University officials didn’t want to conduct the study, either, citing the excessive cost of building security fences around test plots.
The 91st Drake Relays get into full swing tomorrow morning in Drake stadium. It will mark the final Relays for long-time director Bob Ehrhart, who announced his retirement after 31-years at the helm. Ehrhart says he has been too busy and the fact this is his final Relays has not hit him, yet.Several Olympic hopefuls will be part of the field but Ehrhart says the backbone of the meet remains the college teams that come from all over. He says they have 18 teams coming in that have either missed a year or not come to the relays before.The weather forecast is favorable and Ehrhart says that could lead to several records falling.