Officials in Benton County now say there were four victims in a murder-suicide in Bell Plaine Sunday.The Benton County medical examiner says 21-year-old Roberta Abernathy was at seven and a half months pregnant when she was shot by former boyfriend Richard Jackson of Tama. Jackson also killed the Abernathy’s current boyfriend, 25-year old Jerry Williams, before killing himself. Neighbors say Jackson was the father of Abernathy’s baby, but that’s not been confirmed.
Archives for May 2000
Many outdoor plans for the holiday weekend were washed out by rain, but the moisture was a blessing for drought-frightened farmers. Iowa climatologist Harry Hillaker says at least for the short-term, the drought is over. He says the concerns of farmers have been lessened as we now have adequate topsoil moisture. He says the subsoil moisture could still be a concern.Hillaker says the month of May is still a little below normal for rainfall amounts statewide, but he says the Memorial Day weekend rains made up a lot of ground. He says virtually every part of the state had rains of an inch to an inch and a half.Parts of northern and central Iowa had rain this morning, while Dubuque County reported quarter-inch hail about 5 a-m. Hillaker says the forecast calls for a wet week ahead too.The National Weather Service is calling for at least a chance of rain every day through Saturday.
Iowa Barnstormer receiver Mike Horacek has been named the Arena Football League’s co-offensive player of the week. Horacek had six touchdown receptions in last week’s victory over Tampa Bay and in the last three games had 16 touchdowns. The Iowa State product took over the spot at offensive specialist after Kevin Swayne signed with the N-F-L’s San Diego Chargers prior to the season and Eddie Brown was sidelined this season with an injury. Iowa coach John Gregory says Horacek has become their go-to receiver.Gregory says Horacek has taken advantage of the opportunity.Horacek says moving to offensive specialist gave him a chance to concentrate on that side of the ball.Horacek says while his confidence has increased, he is not alone. He says the whole team is playing well offensively.
The first comprehensive study on the health of the Iowa “Great Lakes” is underway in northwest Iowa. Arnold Vander Valk runs the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory along West Okoboji Lake. Vander Valk says the first part of the study involves volunteers taking samples in the 10 lakes.He says the second part of the study examines the impact of conservation measures already taken around the lake to reduce the inflow of nutrients.Vander Valk says there’s only been sporadic studies of the quality of the lakes in the past. He says the study has philosophical and economic implications. He calls the lakes one of the most important natural resources in the state and says they underline the economy of all of northwest Iowa.He says they’re trying to pull together a database of information on the lakes.Vander Valk says the study should help them plan action for improving and preserving the lakes.
A new magazine designed to promote the benefits of living in the Hawkeye State will be put in the hands of every Iowa high schooler this fall. It’s entitled “Iowa Next: Your Guide to Life After High School in Iowa” and it will go out to every public and private high school statewide.JoAnn Callison is spokeswoman for Iowa Workforce Development, which is designing and distributing the magazine. The effort follows a recent study that found about half of all Iowa college students plan to leave Iowa upon graduation.Callison says students who helped chose the new state slogan “Fields of Opportunities” may also be contributing to the publication. She says the magazine “Iowa Next” will show high schoolers their opportunities in Iowa for careers, for colleges and for apprenticeships.Callison says at least 140-thousand copies will be passed out to students in 450 Iowa high schools in August.
Government researchers working to cure Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other diseases are currently restricted from using human cells in their labs, but an effort led by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin seeks to change that. He says researchers should be allowed to use embryonic stem cells for research.Harkin says it’s wrong to deny researchers all the tools necessary to find what causes Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases.Abortion opponents have successfully fought to ban the use human “stem cells” in government-funded research, as they say it creates another market for aborted fetuses. Harkin hopes to overturn that ban under what he calls “strict ethical guidelines” that allow the use of the cells.”Stem cells” are extracted from discarded human embryos. The “Stem Cell Research Act” will be debated on the Senate floor next month.
Iowa’s record-high return rate on Census forms bodes well for the next Census according to Beth Henning, the Iowa liaison to the U-S Census.Last Wednesday, Census bureau officials announced an estimated 74 percent of Iowans sent in their Census survey forms — the best return rate in the nation.Henning doesn’t expect Iowa to lose a Congressional seat as a result of the 2000 Census, but it’s likely in 2010 if the state doesn’t grow — and a great number of Iowans fail to participate in the next Census.Census employees are going door-to-door in Iowa now, checking the roughly 330-thousand addresses throughout the state which did NOT return a 2000 Census Form.
Editors of a book on African-American history in Iowa are asking Iowans to contribute pictures to illustrate the work. Book editor Jack Lufkin says the chapters are written, and being edited. He says if they have pictures that have never been published before, they would love to see the images.Lufkin says if you have great pictures of Iowa’s black history, contact him immediately at the State Historical Society in Des Moines.Lufkin says there’s never been a comprehensive history like this.Lufkin has written one the book’s chapters, about African-American businesses. Other authors include Richard, Lord Acton of Cedar Rapids; Ron Langston, a black republican activist from Des Moines; and Alfredo Parrish, a black lawyer from Des Moines. The book, titled “Outside In,” has been in the works for the past three years and will be released early next year.
A television news photographer in Cedar Rapids was injured after the mast on his news van touched a power line. 30-year-old Peter McNaughton of KGAN in Cedar Rapids is in critical condition at University Hospitals in Iowa City.
A documentary on the Sullivan brothers of Waterloo will air tonight on the History Channel. The true story of the five “Fighting Sullivans” is part of the “History’s Mysteries” series on the cable T-V network. Arthur Drooker is the program’s executive producer and says it’s appropriate the show will have its world premiere on Memorial Day. He says you can’t top their service to the company.The five brothers enlisted in the Navy during World War Two and all five were killed in 1942 when a Japanese sub torpedoed their ship. Because of the tragedy, the U-S military changed its policy to forbid family members from serving in the same unit or on the same aircraft or ship. Drooker calls himself a history buff and was captured by the story.Drooker says the program will include interviews with members of the Sullivan family and with Frank Holmgren, the last survivor of the U-S-S Juneau. Homgren now lives in New Jersey.The program is scheduled to air at 7 p-m.