The father of a central Iowa teenager says she’s missing and fears she may’ve been abducted. The father of 18-year old Lindsay Thomas says she’s been missing since last Wednesday. He says his daughter was driving from the Des Moines suburb of Clive to a construction job in northeast Iowa. Thomas last spoke with relatives on her cell phone when the phone made contact with a tower near Hampton. Thomas was driving a tan 1988 Ford escort with no license plates. She is described as an Asian-American, five-feet-five-inches tall with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
Archives for April 2001
A woman from the Des Moines area who has been missing since Wednesday was found alive this morning. 18-year-old Lindsay Thomas left Clive for a job in Waverly five days ago, and then disappeared. Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Rob Hanson says a D-O-T road crew spotted the car off I-35 in Franklin County in an area where the car could not be seen from the road.Hanson says they’re unsure what caused Thomas to go off the road. Thomas is in critical condition at a Mason City hospital.
A conservative republican who may run for Governor says it’s time to find out how much the state’s spending on “affirmative action” programs. Senator Steve King, a republican from Kiron, says the cost may outweigh the benefits. King would eventually like to do away with hiring and recruiting practices which seek minorities for state jobs. King says the American public does not understand the cost of affirmative action programs. He says there is another cost as well – hiring someone based on criteria other than merit. Democrat Representative Wayne Ford of Des Moines, the only black member of the legislature, says he’ll fight King on this. He says ridding Iowa of affirmative action programs only closes the door to minority growth.King recently offered an amendment to a budget bill, asking for a study of how much state affirmative action programs cost. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a democrat from Iowa City, challenged King. Bolkcom says it still has an important purpose in Iowa – to ensure that the state is hiring qualified women and ethnic groups. King’s amendment was defeated, but he vows to bring the issue up again.
A 30-year era of commercial flights out of the Northwest Iowa Regional Airport in Spencer ends tonight. Great Lakes Aviation will fly their last plane out of Spencer tonight. Longtime airport boardmember Harry Rasdahl says service started in the early 1970’s when Spencer residents convinced an airline carrying mail to add some seats for passengers. Rasdahl says five different carriers flew into Spencer over the next several years. Then in 1981, a couple from Spirit Lake created Great Lakes Aviation. Back then it was called Iowa Great Lakes Airline. Rasdahl says efforts to get Northwest to fly into Spencer have failed. He says though, he is optimistic they can get commercial flights back to the airport.
Iowa’s capitol city is losing a large employer. R-R Donnelley Printing is closing its Des Moines facility, with a gradual phase-out of all 775 jobs in the next 15 months. Des Moines City Manager Eric Anderson says company officials blame the July 1st, 2002, closure on conditions in the printing industry and within Donnelley itself. Anderson says there is a capacity overload in the industry. The plant does all sorts of printing, from books and magazines to catalogs and phone directories. Anderson says the city will work with the state and the Des Moines Area Community College — or D-MAC — to retrain the workers and keep them in the area. Officials at Chicago-based Donnelley say all work from Des Moines will be transferred to some of the company’s 55 other facilities around the world. The company has 34-thousand employees globally.
A national program to give away one million car booster seats is being launched today along with the results of a survey on how few Iowa parents put their kids in them. Booster seats will be distributed to low-income families. The event is being held in partnership with The United Way. Sarah Kirkish is an automotive safety engineer at Ford. She says booster seats are a “transition” seat for kids between four and eight-years-old, up to around 80 pounds. She says kids should -not- go from an infant car seat to riding with a regular seat belt, just because booster seats aren’t required in most states. Kirkish says only three states have booster seat laws and Iowa is not among them. Kirkish says only about 20-percent of Iowans use booster seats though 85-percent of Iowa parents have heard of them. She says there are a few questions parents should ask themselves to determine if their child should be riding in a booster seat. Parents should make sure their child sits in the back of the seat, that the lap belt sits low on their thighs, and that the shoulder rests directly across their shoulder. Over the coming weeks, Ford will be working with the United Way of Iowa to identify low-income Iowa families who could qualify for the free seats.
A woman from Peru is accused of marrying and then bilking an elderly Quad Cities man out of thousands of dollars. Federal agents say they’re investigating 39-year-old Carmen Kimball for allegedly taking more than 100-thousand dollars from 75-year old Wilbur Kimball of Bettendorf. Officials say Carmen Kimball married Wilbur Kimball in 1999, a year after she was hired to be his caretaker. Carmen Kimball has already been charged with using phony identification to get jobs in the United States.
The Wartburg College football team will begin preparations this week for an eight-day trip to Germany next month that will include a game against a club team. Wartburg coach Rick Willis says last year they put the trip off because they were also playing the division three playoffs. The team will get ten practice days to get ready which Willis says will be a benefit for next season in terms of both preparation and experience. Willis says they will play one club team on the trip while in Berlin. Willis says they hope to play in the NFL Berlin stadium. The team will leave on May 21st.
This is the 13th annual “Workers Memorial Day” in Iowa. State Labor Commissioner Byron Orton says the day celebrates creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Orton says OSHA has made workplaces safer. Orton says occupational fatalities have been reduced by approximately 50-percent, but in Iowa there is about one workplace fatality per week.Steelworkers Local 164 president John Peno of Des Moines says “Workers Memorial Day” was created for a special purpose. Peno says the day is held for in respect for workers killed on the job in the previous year.A ceremony today in Des Moines will be followed by a rally on behalf of workers striking at Titan Tire’s Des Moines plant. Peno says overall, Iowa’s a pretty good state for recognizing the contributions of labor. Peno’s union represents workers who, as of May 1st, will have been on strike for three years . Peno says talks may resume before long. Peno says they’ll meet through May and hope to get back to work. Peno thinks even though the union members have been on strike for three years, many will be willing to take back their old jobs once the tire company settles on a new contract with workers. State officials say 55 Iowans died on the job last year. Clergy and labor leaders will remember those workers at a ceremony in Des Moines which begins at 11:30 a.m.
The southeastern-most Iowa town of Keokuk -does- have a floodwall and all Civil War re-enactment events scheduled for this weekend are still on. Kirk Brandenberger, spokesman for the Keokuk-area Convention and Tourism Bureau, says the 14th annual “Battle of Pea Ridge” will be re-lived today and tomorrow. Brandenberger says the battle was actually held in Arkansas, and it saved Missouri from the Union. The General from the Union Army was a former mayor of Keokuk. Brandenberger says more than one thousand re-enactors in blue and grey will transport the battlefield back to the 1860s. He also expects 15-to-20-thousand spectators. Brandenberger says it’s very stirring to see the Civil War come to live in front of you — it’s a long way from watching a documentary on T-V. For more information, surf to “www.keokuktourism.com” or call 800 383-1219.