The discovery of several thousand photographs is giving Iowa historians a unique look into Iowa’s past. The black and white photos were taken by A.M. Wettach of Mt. Pleasant over four decades, beginning in the 1930s. Mary Bennett of the State Historical Society’s Iowa City Center says Wettach’s son had kept the pictures and negatives stored in his basement for the last 24 years.Wettach was an agricultural photographer, so Bennett says the pictures document a rich history and they’ll have at least 10-thousand of them in their collection.Bennett says Wettach was a professional photographer, so the quality of the collection is outstanding. She says he used large negatives which yield high quality pictures.Bennett says the Wettach collection will be available for public viewing and for academic research.The Wettach collection was discovered after a handful of his pictures were found at the University of Iowa’s Institute for Rural and Environmental Health. Staff members from the Institute tracked the pictures to Wettach’s son, Robert, who is a doctor in Mt. Pleasant.
Archives for June 2000
There’s a new “money back guarantee” for Iowans who get their drivers license at a couple of eastern Iowa offices — and the program may soon expand statewide. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Dena Grey-Fisher says customers of drivers license stations in Burlington and Davenport will be the first beneficiaries of the new policy. Customers will be able to get a refund if they’re made to wait more than half an hour for service, or if they find a typo on their drivers license. Grey-Fisher says the refund policy for bad service starts Saturday, and refunds might be as much as 16-dollars.Grey-Fisher says the policy was ordered by Governor Vilsack as part of an effort to make state government “consumer-friendly.”Grey-Fisher doesn’t expect D-O-T workers will be handing out many refunds.
Coming this fall — yet another chance for you to become a millionaire on TV. The Iowa Lottery announced today it will be part of a new game show that’s a spin off of sorts from the popular “Powerball” multi-state lottery drawing. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Nuebauer says you can qualify for “Powerball – The Game Show” with a winning scratch ticket.If you scratch off your Powerball ticket and find a TV, you send it in, and are put in a pool of possible contestants. There will be one contestant drawn to play from Iowa, and one from the eight other states and the District of Columbia that also are part of the Powerball drawings. Nuebauer says 14 players will be chosen to play along at home with the Iowan who plays on TV.The money won by the home players depends on how much money the player on TV wins. Nuebauer says they haven’t decided the exact rules for the TV game, but do have a rough idea.The show will be taped in Hollywood. Bob Eubanks, who gained fame as the host of the “Newlywed Game,” will host the Powerball show. Nuebauer says the Iowa Lottery has been looking for a chance to run a regular game show, but says it costs a lot to produce without help from other states.The scratch tickets for the show go on sale August 10th. The first show is scheduled to air October 7th.
Congressman Greg Ganske was a “no” vote on the prescription drug benefit plan advanced yesterday in the U-S House. He says the republican plan relies on insurance companies that’ve already said they won’t offer prescription drug coverage.Ganske, a republican from Des Moines, says there are big flaws in both the republican and democratic plans.Ganske tried to offer a compromise, but Republican leaders shut out all alternatives to their own. He says if the parties don’t start working together, then nothing will become law this year.Congressman Jim Nussle, a republican from Manchester, supported the G-O-P plan. He says prescription drug costs for seniors are too high and they need to solve the problem. Nussle says it provides seniors an “affordable choice” and gives them a drug benefit they can use anywhere.Democrats, including Congressman Leonard Boswell of Davis City, staged a walk-out during yesterday’s House debate on the issue.
Marcus Fizer will be reunited with Tim Floyd. The Iowa State All-American was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the fourth pick in the first round of the N-B-A draft. Most analysts had Fizer pegged for the Los Angeles Clippers with the third pick. Fizer says going fourth did not surprise him. He says the guys who went before him were talented players and it had a lot to do with the teams that were selecting.Fizer going to Chicago was a bit of a surprise because the Bulls already have Elton Brand at power forward. Fizer says he plans on proving he can play small forward.Fizer does not consider himself locked into any position, he considers himself a basketball player who can play any position.Fizer says he had no idea the Bulls planned on drafting him.
The hubbub over six-year-old Elian Gonzales may propel efforts to re-establish trade ties with Cuba. Senator Tom Harkin says the Elian Gonzales saga has helped efforts to open trade relations with Cuba. The U-S House yesterday approved selling food and medicine to Cuba, but the proposal bars public or private financing of those sales. Harkin says that makes it a “sham.” He says they want to have it both ways.But Republican Congressman Tom Latham disagrees. He says it’s the “cracking open of a door that will never again be closed.”Latham says Cuba’s a big market for American farm goods.Last year, the U-S Senate endorsed opening the trade window with Cuba. Harkin says it’s time to sell U-S commodities and medicine to Cuba — and let people travel freely between the two countries. He says that once you start opening up the country to trade and private sector business, then it’s only a matter of time that Dictator Fidel Castro is gone.Harkin, who’s a democrat, says U-S policy towards Cuba makes no sense.
Two of the top teams in class 2-A matchup in a high school baseball doubleheader tonight as seventh-ranked Dyersville Beckman hosts top-ranked Cascade. Beckman coach Tom Jenk, Jr., says this matchup is important, and not because of the rankings. He says both are in first place in the conference with 8-0 records, and winning the title is important.Jenk says baseball is popular in both communities and there will be a large crowd on hand.While tonight’s matchup carries conference title implications, these teams could meet in a more important game. They are slated to play in the same district tournament.
A Drake University Law Professor says she’s concerned about the implications of the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Boy Scouts to exclude gay scouts and scoutmasters. Sally Frank has been interested in anti-discrimination cases since filing a suit seeking to open all-male eating clubs at Princeton University in the early 1980s. Frank says the Boy Scout ruling could weaken earlier rulings — such as the one requiring the Jaycees to accept women into the group. Frank says the Supreme Court was too narrow in allowing the Boy Scouts to say banning gays was there right under “free speech.”Frank says it’s a question of the group’s “expressive association” to the people they’re trying to exclude. For example, she says the courts would never force the Nazi Party to admit Jews as members. She says the Boy Scouts cannot show that anti-gay activity is essential to the their group.She says the court’s ruling is not a surprise.Frank says the surprise was the Court actually agreed to hear the case in the first place. The 5-4 Supreme Court ruling says forcing the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals would infringe on the group’s right to choose who it associates with.
Many Iowans are expected to buckle down financially, buckle up their seat belts and hit the highway this holiday weekend, despite the high price of fuel.Triple-A Motor Club’s Iowa spokesman Daren Van Helden says bounding gas prices are an annoyance but they aren’t killing trips.The motor club predicts a four-percent increase in travel nationwide over the Independence Day weekend, the biggest one-year jump for the holiday since 1993. For the Midwest, a three-percent boost in vacationers is expected. Van Helden says gas prices are much higher than a year ago, but the prices aren’t stopping vacationers.The club’s latest gas price survey puts the national average at a dollar-65 a gallon. For Iowa, it’s a dollar-78. That’s 70 cents higher than the state average a year ago.
The U-S Supreme Court has knocked down Nebraska’s ban on partial birth abortions, and the decision tosses out Iowa’s law which bans the late-term abortion.Bob Brammer, a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General, says that decision likely knocks out Iowa’s law since it is similar to Nebraska’s law.Brammer says Iowa’s law was never enforced, as it was being challenged in the courts.The Nebraska law was challenged by Dr. LeRoy Carhart of Bellevue, Nebraska. He’s the only doctor in Nebraska known to perform abortions after the sixteenth week of pregnancy. Steven Emmert is a spokesman for Planned Parenthood of Omaha/Council Bluffs. He says this a very good date, although he says the 5-4 vote raises a concern.”Iowa Right To Life” Committee executive director Kim Gordon says her group isn’t giving up on the issue.Gordon says attorneys for her group are in the Supreme Court chambers at this hour, reading through the decision. She says they’ll then determine what to do next.In a five-to-four decision, the nation’s high court ruled the partial-birth abortion law put an “undue burden” on a woman’s decision to get an abortion and was unconstitutional.