Communities across most of Iowa that are looking to “spruce” up their look can apply for grants through the “Trees Please” program. It’s run by MidAmerican Energy, where Rick Leuthauser is the manager of energy efficiency programs.Leuthauser says the program has been operating in Iowa about ten years and has provided many thousands of trees to dozens of communities. He says there are a variety of benefits communities can enjoy by adding some greenery.Leuthauser says the amount of each community’s grant will be determined after all of applications are received. The deadline to request an application is September 21st.For more details on the program, call 800 434-4017.
Archives for August 2001
Aviation professionals, high school teachers, politicians and pilots were on hand for a very special “airmail” delivery in the capital city. A military transport copter with two gigantic rotors dwarfed the Huey helicopter carried in a sling below it, as the craft came in to land at Des Moines international airport Wednesday afternoon. Students at Des Moines Central Campus tech school will have an opportunity any high schooler would envy: to work on a real working chopper, of the kind pilots flew in Vietnam.
University of Northern Iowa officials are hoping for a leak-free sports season in the UNI-Dome. The 25th year of football in the dome begins tonight when U-N-I plays Wayne State of Michigan. Repair work went on all summer as part of a two-year project to reduce roof leaks. U-N-I spokesman Jim O’Connor says construction history is being made with the project. It was the first dome to be retro-fitted with a hard top.O’Connor says dome experts around the nation are keeping a close eye on the conversion.O’Connor says a regular slate of activities is set for the new school year and the project should be completed next summer.
There’s a homicide investigation underway in Marshalltown. Neighbors called 9-1-1 after finding 73-year-old Ila Mae Clark unconscious in her home. The call went out about five o’clock yesterday afternoon. Authorities pronounced Clark dead on the scene. An autopsy was conducted this morning, and investigators won’t release the cause of death. They’ll only call the death “suspicious.”
A veteran from America’s civil rights movement helped kick-off the University of Northern Iowa’s academic year. Morris Dees founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and to this day his work attracts the attention of enemies.He cites a big court judgement against the Aryan Nation in Idaho, and he says the K-K-K burned his headquarters in 1980, though Dees didn’t expect any trouble in Iowa. U-N-I officials won’t give details but confirm security was more intense than the school usually provides speakers. Dees was a driving force behind the Civil Rights Memorial, put up in 1989 in Montgomery, Alabama, in honor of 40 men, women and children who died during the civil rights movement. He says its message was heard, though there are still groups of people today who feel threatened.Dees says gays, lesbians, the elderly, the handicapped and, different racial or religious groups still feel threatened, but he says you can do a lot to make people more accepting. He said communications could breach the barriers that separate people.The theme of Dees’ speech at U-N-I’s convocation was “Responding to Hate: Voices of Hope and Tolerance.” This is only the second convocation held at U-N-I after a 30-year hiatus.
The Buchanan County Sheriff’s department is trying to sort out events that led to a 12-year old girl passing out from too much alcohol. A deputy on routine patrol Sunday found two 12-year-old girls at the Brandon shelterhouse. One of the girls was unconscious, apparently from drinking several types of alcohol. She was taken to a Waterloo Hospital. The other girl was disoriented and was taken to her parents’ home. A third girl who was supposed to be at the park was later located at another home. No charges have been filed.
Iowa could be in for a repeat of last year’s “old-fashioned winter” according to the new edition of the “Farmer’s Almanac” which hit store shelves this week. Iowa climatologist Harry Hillaker says the Almanac is a fun read but he doesn’t put much stock in such distant forecasts.The 185-year-old Almanac claims its forecasts are right 80-percent of the time, based on things like tides, sunspots and planet positions. It foresees “heaps of snow” beginning in late November. Hillaker says since we’re still in summer, it’s just not realistic to attempt to predict what winter will be like.Hillaker’s crystal ball is still cloudy. He says it’s still a toss-up as to what sort of winter is ahead for Iowa. He says the weather patterns that are based on the warming and cooling of the Pacific Ocean, El Nino and La Nina, simply haven’t shown any dominance yet.While the Almanac predicts an “active” winter, it forecasts a drier than normal summer for 2002 for the Midwest region. Fall arrives September 22nd.
An American Medical Association study finds excessive drinking is considered a serious threat by 95-percent of parents sending kids to college. The University of Iowa is among ten universities taking part in an A-M-A-led effort to curb binge drinking. Julie Phye is director of the U-of-I’s “Stepping Up” project.She says the group is working with students, business leaders, law enforcement officials, prevention and treatment specialists, religious groups and parents. Phye says the project’s goals are being met at the Iowa City institution.Students are being offered more evening “alternative” activities so they don’t feel like going to the bars is all there is to do. U-of-I residence halls went alcohol-free last year, and earlier this month, Iowa City leaders enacted tough new restrictions on bars.While the A-M-A study found 95-percent of parents said binge drinking is a “serious threat” to their children, 85-percent of respondents said easy access to alcohol in college towns is the prime problem. About 44-percent of college students admit to binge drinking, about one-quarter say they do it frequently.
Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell says his democratic colleague Gary Condit continues to be evasive about his relationship with intern Chandra Levy and her disappearance. Boswell says he thinks Condit “is very damaged” by the whole situation and it needs careful review.House Democrat Leader Dick Gephardt has said Condit’s nationally televised interview was “disturbing and wrong” and Gephardt says it’s time to start talking with fellow democrats about asking Condit to give up his seat.Boswell isn’t ready to call for Condit to go — yet. He says he doesn’t know all the facts.Boswell says Condit hasn’t been forthcoming in media interviews, and that’s damaged Condit’s working relationship with other members of Congress. Gephardt, the democrat leader, says Condit’s conduct is perpetuating the idea that “politicians are bums.”
Riding a string of nine consecutive seasons of seven victories or more, the Drake Bulldogs open their season Saturday at Truman State. The Bulldogs have most of their skill players returning from a year ago, but coach Rob Ash says there are a number of question marks.Ash says the Bulldogs have their hands full against a Truman State team that is coached by former Drake standout John Ware. He says they’ll be the most difficult opener in years. Ash says some of the new players will have a bearing on the outcome, especially in the offensive line and defensive front.