Most people think about putting on sunscreen before going out on a sunny summer day, but your eyes also need protection too, according to Prevent Blindness Iowa spokeswoman Amy O’Brien. O’Brien says you could possibly suffer a corneal sunburn which can be very painful and cause temporary blindness. She says unprotected eyes can also experience long-term damage as well.She says it can lead to cataracts later in your life.O’Brien says you need to check your sunglasses to make sure they’ll block out the U-V rays. And she says you don’t have to spend a lot to get good protection.She says you don’t have to buy an expensive pair of sunglasses, just be sure they block at least 99 percent of the u-v rays.O’Brien says there’s another simple way to protect your eyes.You can wear a hat to help block the sun from your eyes.There are almost 258-thousand Iowans over the age of 40 who suffer from a cataract.
Archives for June 2002
The young woman representing Iowa in America’s Junior Miss National Finals tonight says the competition is everything she’d hoped for and more. 18-year-old Diana Reed of Norwalk says the scholarship pageant has been challenging and rewarding. She says they had slumber parties, a prom and many other activities.The 50 contestants are judged in five categories: scholastics, interview, talent, fitness and poise. Reed says she’s seen the pageant-mocking movies like “Drop Dead Gorgeous” which depict the competitions as being full of back-stabbing vixens, but she says it’s nothing like that. She says it’s a down-to-earth program with a lot of girls with great morals and values. Reed graduated this spring from Norwalk High School, just south of Des Moines. She plans to attend the University of Iowa this fall, where she’s been named the “Golden Girl” and she’ll be twirling the baton in front of tens of thousands of football fans. Her talent in tonight’s competition involves the baton. Actually, she’ll be juggling three of them in her routine.Tonight’s winner wins a 50-thousand dollar scholarship. The America’s Junior Miss National Finals are being held in Mobile, Alabama, and will be carried live tonight starting at 8 o’clock on PAX-TV. The host is Deborah Norville, who was Georgia’s Junior Miss in 1976.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s opening two offices today, in Cedar Rapids and in Clinton County at Charlotte, between Maquoketa and Clinton. FEMA’s Kevin Galvin says one office is already open in Dyersville’s City Hall.People can go to these temporary FEMA offices they’ve started the application process and get information about their cases and what programs might help them. Galvin emphasizes people should not visit the walk-in offices until they’ve called 1-800-621-FEMA to begin the process and get application forms.The SBA will help people fill out applications, they’ll give advice on rebuilding damaged homes and getting human service help, and answer questions about the application for aid. The offices will be open from nine A-M to six P-M Monday through Saturday, but closed on the Fourth of July.
A former Iowa couple is charged in a case of abuse in which their young child will need plastic surgery to recover. Caseworkers say Kevin and Sally Flynn lived in Council Bluffs in September 2000, when she gave birth to a girl. The newborn tested positive for illegal drugs and was taken from her parents, who were homeless at the time according to a copyright story in the Omaha World Herald. After a year and a half in foster care, the girl was returned to her biological parents, who then lived in Nebraska, but a tip led authorities to check on the child last week. Social workers found in six months in her parents’ care, the toddler hadn’t grown — she’d lost nearly a third of her weight, had signs of malnutrition, was covered in bruises, blisters and scars and had an infection that had eaten away a part of her nose. She’ll get surgery to repair the damage and all the couple’s children are now in foster care.
The state’s fiscal year draws to a close June 30th, and Governor Tom Vilsack says tax receipts haven’t fallen as much as predicted. Vilsack says state tax collections are about one-and-a-half percent better than anticipated, although still less than last year. That means the state could close the year with about 70-million dollars in the bank, money that will be deposited in the state’s cash reserve. Vilsack and legislators had to make two rounds of cuts to this past year’s state budget as the economy soured, dragging state income tax and sales tax returns down as Iowans’ wages and consumer spending sagged. Vilsack says Iowa’s budget is doing o-k when compared to neighboring states. Minnesota’s delaying millions of dollars in school payments. Wisconsin still has a billion dollar deficit. Illinois isn’t paying over a billion dollars in bills. Missouri didn’t pay tax refunds and Nebraska raised taxes. The next state budgeting year starts Monday, and it’s lean. Most state workers will be forced to take some unpaid days off; some may be laid-off. Vilsack says they’re working with the agencies and encouraging them to be innovative. The Legislature and Governor agreed in late May to offer another round of early retirement incentives to state workers, if four small state unions agreed to delay pay raises as the state’s largest union, AFSCME, has. Employees would get a lump sum check covering their unused days of vacation and sick leave. Workers have ’til August 14th to make the retirement decision. Almost six hundred workers retired early in February, saving the state over 11-million dollars in payroll expenses.
Members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation are denouncing Wednesday’s federal court ruling in California which found the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.Senator Chuck Grassley says the ruling is “outrageous,” while Senator Tom Harkin says the decision is “contrary…to the values of Iowans.” Harkin calls taking the Pledge a “simple patriotic act.”Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester calls the Pledge “a stirring salute to the proud American spirit our flag symbolizes,” while Congressman Tom Latham of Alexander says the court’s move is “misguided and simply wrong.” Congressman Leonard Boswell says he fully supports the Pledge of Allegiance.Iowa school kids won’t be affected but children in nine western states may be banned from making the pledge.
A storm that tore through southern Iowa’s Union County Wednesday afternoon left damage in the town of Kent that looked like the work of a twister. Kent mayor Mary Brown says it was about four that the storm went through.She says it turned trees around and it was so loud her neighbor across the street couldn’t hear when she told her to take shelter.Mayor Brown says there’s a lot of damage in Kent.The front of the old store building went down, there are telephone poles broken off and lines down. Brown says they’re lucky noone got hurt. They haven’t yet compiled a dollar estimate of the damage.
Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell expects Congress to take some action following the recent troubles with WorldCom. Boswell says it’s corporate greed at its worst and Congress will have to come up with tougher regulations. Boswell says the companies need to take responsibility for the troubles they’ve caused employees.Amtrak, the national rail service, has also been having financial problems. The federal government is helping the rail line out for now, and Boswell says he wants to see the passenger service survive.Boswell is a democrat who is running for re-election in the new Third District.
A top republican in the Iowa House says Iowa should call for a constitutional convention if Congress doesn’t act on this week’s ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance. House Majority Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says a constitutional amendment would preserve the pledge. Rants says the ruling tears at the fabric of who we are as a nation. Rants says the President and other leaders call on Americans to pray in troubled times. Rants says there should be no less than an amendment to the U-S constitution. He thinks the amendment should affirm the pledge and say it can be used in public places and in schools. There are two methods, he says, either Congress passes a constitutional amendment for states to ratify, or states themselves pass resolutions to convene a constitutional convention. If the Legislature did that, Rants said it would not merit a special session but could be taken up in the next regular session. Rants says he wouldn’t accept endorsing the pledge of allegiance the way it was originally composed, without the words “Under God.”
Some eastern Iowans may soon be given pills that are touted as being able to ward off some impact of a nuclear accident. Iowa officials decided last week they would not hand out potassium iodide pills to residents living near the Duane Arnold facility near Cedar Rapids, the only nuclear plant in the Hawkeye State. Now, Illinois is buying 350-thousand of the pills to give to residents around that state’s six nuke plants. That includes the Quad City station at Cordova, right across the Mississippi River from Princeton, Iowa, just north of Davenport. The pills may protect the thyroid gland of people exposed to radiation. Iowa officials decided not to purchase the pills, fearing they’d give people a false sense of security to linger after an accident, when evacuation should be immediate.