The Red Cross chapter that serves six northeast Iowa counties has received a major gift that will help build a new headquarters. Development Associate Tom Tierney says the gift is a great boost for the Hawkeye Chapter.The 50-thousand gift from the R-J McElroy trust will go toward a one-point-five million dollar Red Cross building in Waterloo. Tierney says part of the fund will go to build a garage to house emergency vehicles that now sit out in the cold all winter. When the Red Cross responds to help victims of an emergency like a fire, sometimes the vehicles won’t start. Tierney says some of the money will go to build new classrooms for CPR and First-Aid training. This is the first capital campaign the Hawkeye Chapter Red Cross has held in its 84-year history.
Archives for June 2001
The father of the seven-month-old Perry baby who died Tuesday after being left in a hot mini-van says his baby girl’s death is “a nightmare.” An emotional Dennis Engholm talked with reporters in front of the church where his daughter had been baptized just a few months ago. He says his daughter’s death was the result of a tragic and heartbreaking accident.Engholm says his wife Kari didn’t remember that she’d forgotten to drop their daughter off at a babysitter, and didn’t realize what had happened until she got off work and went to pick up their three-year-old son. Engholm says the babysitter had tried to reach his wife throughout the day but wasn’t successful. Engholm says they’re now just trying to deal with the loss of their daughter and his wife is devastated.He says he’s tried to support his wife through the ordeal, and their faith and support of the community has helped.No charges have been filed. Engholm says he hopes the authorities will see this was an accident.A private funeral will be held for Clare Engholm Saturday at 10 a-m at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Perry.
The state’s largest art show opens today in the Capitol City. The Des Moines Arts Festival is spreading itself across three bridges over the Des Moines River downtown and is expected to bring in 150-thousand people over its three day run.Fest director Mo Dana says there’ll be 150 artists from 33 states, three stages of musical entertainment, fireworks and more. Dana says the festival contains a wide array of things that fit in the broad category of “art” for everyone’s budget, with jewelry to oil paintings. Prices start at 25 dollarswith the highest priced piece at 30-thousand dollars.The fest ranks among the top-ten fine arts festivals in the nation. One unusual attraction this year is “living art” — a man and woman who paint themselves white, don white robes and imitate marble statues on pedestals. Dana says this festival is a tremendous tourism event for Des Moines.The fest is piloted by about 500 volunteers. The hours are 3-to-10 today, 10-to-10 Saturday and 10-to-4 on Sunday. Admission is free.
A southeast Iowa woman was shot and seriously injured on Friday while camping a Lake Belva Deer in Keokuk County. Keokuk County Sheriff Ronald George says 42 year-old Lynn Marie Ray of Keota was found by her cousin Raymond McSherry inside of an old school bus where the two were living. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Department with the investigation.
Davenport’s a dangerous place to drive according to State Farm insurance. State Farm has issued a list of the 10 most dangerous intersections in Iowa and seven of the 10 are in Davenport. The remaining three “most dangerous” intersections are in the Des Moines metro. The insurance company looks at the number of accidents at various intersections, how many of those crashes caused injuries, and how serious those injuries were. State Farm’s offering Davenport or Des Moines-area cities 20-thousand bucks to conduct an in-depth study of the troubled intersections to see if safety improvements could be made. Safety studies are already underway at three of the trouble stops. Here’s the list of most dangerous intersections in Iowa: 1. Brady Street & Kimberly Road, Davenport. 2. Eastern Avenue & Kimberly Road, Davenport. 3. 53rd Street & Elmore Avenue, Davenport. 4. Elmore Avenue & Kimberly Road, Davenport. 5. NW 100th Street & Hickman Road, Urbandale/Clive. 6. Aurora Avenue & Merle Hay Road, Des Moines. 7. Bell Avenue & Fleur Drive, Des Moines. 8. 53rd Street & Jersey Ridge Road, Davenport. 9. Spring Street & Kimberly Road, Davenport. 10. 53rd Street & Welcome Way, Davenport.
Cedar Rapids-based Alliant Energy is considering building a new power plant, but it’s unclear if it’d be located in Iowa or elsewhere. Spokesman John Ruff says construction would be better than outsourcing — or buying the electricity from other companies.Alliant now gets 20-percent of power from outside suppliers. Ruff says there’s a plus side to all of this for the “little guy.” He says the more competition there is for building plants, the more the customers benefit.The company is considering a one-point-five billion dollar plant, big enough to power 300-thousand homes.
Eagle numbers are soaring in Iowa. State officials conduct survey counts of bald eagles every winter and the numbers are finally in for the most recent season. Jim Zohrer, supervisor of the D-N-R’s wildlife diversity program, says it’s a new record — nearly 25-hundred eagles were spotted statewide in the past winter, up from about 18-hundred in 1999, the previous record year. While the numbers were up overall, Zohrer says the white-headed eagles were spotted in 41 counties — that’s down from 50 in the previous year.The concentrations were around open water due to the very cold winter which froze over many waterways. He says the bulk of eagles were spotted along the Mississippi River from Clinton to Keokuk. Zohrer says he’s very encouraged by the upswing in the numbers.While bald eagles are still considered “endangered” in Iowa, they’ve been removed from that list at the national level. There are about 120 eagle nests in Iowa now, a radical increase from only 13 nests a decade ago.
In another cost-cutting move, Deere and Company is launching an early retirement program.The ag, lawn and construction equipment maker hopes to cut its national workforce by eight-percent, or 12-hundred-50 employees, to save about 90-million dollars a year. Deere spokesman Ken Golden says workers who are in their 50s and early-60s can benefit the most, as 25-hundred workers will be offered the early retirement packages which include crediting three extra years of service or cash. Deere has about 15-thousand employees in the U-S. Quad City-based Deere is one of Iowa’s largest employers with major plants in Davenport, Waterloo, Dubuque and Ottumwa.
Hot weather may not be the only threat to your health and safety this time of year.In addition to safety warnings about the heat itself, we could be seeing air-quality alerts this time of year. The DNR’s Brian Button explains there are regions where the air quality is likely to get bad in hot weather.Typically, smog is highest in the eastern third of the state. It can cover a big area, a dozen counties and can be just as intense over a cornfield as in a city. Button says car exhaust, factory smoke, vapors from things like paint all mix and bake in the heat to form smog. Button says his office has been seeing levels this week that are high, but not bad enough to trigger air-quality alerts.Those warnings will include advice to put off vigorous outdoor activities, even for young healthy people, and for the elderly, sick or people with problems like asthma to stay indoors. Button says you can do your part by keeping the car tuned up, and you can even report smoky drivers by phoning 877-“tailpipe.” The DNR will look up the license number and send the offending motorist information on cleaning up emissions. For news and air-quality reports, go to www.iowacleanair.com.
Iowa’s Attorney General was among those who pressed for the break-up of Microsoft, and Tom Miller refuses to concede defeat after an Appeals Court ruled in Microsoft’s favor. A judge had labeled Microsoft an illegal monopoly, and order its break-up, but the U-S Court of Appeals threw that out today, and ordered a new judge to decide what the penalty should be. Miller says there’s a chance that new judge will see Microsoft as a monopoly. He says there’s still a good argument for breaking the company up.Miller says the computer giant needs to be penalized for anti-competitive practices. He says anything short of that remedy would be futile and a waste of court time. Miller says the best penalty is to split the company in two.Miller participated in a national telephone news conference this afternoon.While the Appeals Court reversed the ruling that split Microsoft in two, the judges’ ruling still concluded Microsoft has a monopoly in the computer market that violates U-S anti-trust laws.