The Girl’s State Softball Tournament got underway last night in Fort Dodge with the class 1A quarterfinals. Top-ranked H-L-V Victor defeated 17th-ranked Albert City-Truesdale 4-1 to advance to Wednesday night’s semifinal round. H-L-V coach John Prottsman says it wasn’t his team’s best effort, but they’ll take the win and move along to the semis.Prottsman says pitcher Janet Barker settled down after a rocky first inning. He says she was nervous and tried to aim the ball in the first few innings.Prottsman says his team knew the first game of the tournament was the important one.HLV will play Edgewood-Colesburg, who upset 11th-ranked South Hamilton 2-1. Emma Campbell socked a two-run double in the fifth inning to account for Ed-Co’s runs. Pitcher Whitney McElrath scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth to give #12 Woodbury Central a 3-2 extra inning win over West Marshall in another Class 1A Quarterfinal. Woodbury Central will play Underwood in the other semifinal on Wednesday night, after holding off a late rally by Kee High to secure the shutout with a 3-0 win. Underwood coach Joyce Tiarks says they’ve had some interesting 7th innings, so she was glad to get out of this game.Tiarks says she was happy to get three runs against Kee High, but says there should have been more. Meghan Brue threw a three-hit shutout for Underwood.
Archives for July 2002
Iowa’s lowest-in-the-nation Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals are an issue in the third district Congressional race. Democrat Congressman Leonard Boswell says he’ll continue to press for reform. Boswell says the President and Vice President have made eight visits to Iowa, but haven’t done anything about the issue. Republican challenger Stan Thompson, who had V-P Dick Cheney campaign for him today, says it’ll take a Republican to get the reimbursement rate raised. Thompson says it’ll take a Congressman who can work with the White House to get changes made.Thompson predicts Republicans will have a majority of seats in Congress after the mid-term elections, and that’ll make it easier for him to get the issue addressed. Boswell, the Democrat, says it’s his opinion that Democrats will win control of the U-S House in November. Boswell says he’s been trying for four years to get the discussion going on the issue.Boswell is co-sponsoring a bill with former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, who’s now a Republican Congressman, that would dramatically raise Medicare rates for low-paid states like Iowa and Nebraska.
Story County has become the sixth county in Iowa to confirm the presence of West Nile virus. Ames city sanitarian Kevin Anderson says animal-control got a report last week of a sick crow and after it was picked up, the crow died. The bird was sent to the state hygienic lab in Iowa City and this morning Ames officials learned the crow tested positive for West Nile. Anderson says they were expecting the discovery sooner or later. He says crows and blue jays are the most susceptible to the disease, and Anderson says officials have been on the lookout for dead birds. Anderson says his public-health workers aren’t particularly alarmed that they picked up a bird dying of the disease, which can affect birds, horses…and people. He says they know they can’t catch it from a sick bird because it’s spread by mosquito bites, and there’s a fairly low risk. Anderson says since West Nile has been confirmed in Story County, the state testing lab will not accept any more specimens from there, but only from counties where the disease hasn’t yet been found.
Another community meeting tonight in Adair County will review plans for a seven-thousand-hog operation in the area. Barb Kalbach is with “Adair County Families Against Factory Farms.” She says three thousand residents in Adair and Madison counties have signed a petition, opposing the development. An agreement for hog producer Gary Weihs to buy the land makes the purchase depend on getting the state permits he’ll need for the hog lot.She says even an ethanol plant would be a better deal. Kalbach says there are plenty of farmers in the central Iowa area, and it’s the size, not the farm itself, they object to. Kalbach says a farm the size Weihs proposes can produce the same amount of manure as the city of Ames. She says her county’s not “a giant desert,” but an area where people live, drink out of wells, swim and fish in streams and visitors also come to enjoy the outdoors. Kalbach has heard concerns that the fight against a big hog confinement might harm other family farmers in Adair County. She says it’s big corporate ownership that’ll hurt family farmers, not groups that want to control the site and environmental impact. Tonight’s meeting is at Fairview Church, six miles south of the town of Stuart.
A Slovenian man who says he’s swimming for peace is attempting to become the first person to swim the full length of the Mississippi River — and he’s now off Iowa’s eastern shore. Martin Strell started his adventure July 4th at the headwaters of the Muddy Miss in Itasca, Minnesota. During a break between Clinton and Davenport, the 44-year-old marathon swimmer he’s seeing many friendly folks on the banks who come out to wave and say ‘hello’. Strell says he’s making the 66-day journey for several reasons, including the ten-year anniversary of the U-S recognizing his tiny nation of Slovenia. He’s eager to make mid-Missouri and St. Louis as there are not any locks and dams there.Strell says he’s swimming for peace, friendship and clean water. So far, he says the Mississippi is a clean river and he’s encountered no problems. In 2000, he also swam the length of the Danube River. He hasn’t yet set a new goal for himself as he wants to finish this challenge first.Doing 35 miles a day, Strell hopes to complete the 24-hundred mile swim and reach the Gulf of Mexico at the tip of Louisiana by September 7th.
Alliant Energy says construction of a proposed 400-million dollar natural gas-fired electricity generating plant in Cerro Gordo County is in jeopardy. That’s if the Iowa Utilities Board accepts a request from the Office of the Consumer Advocate that Alliant lower, not raise, rates for Interstate Power and Light customers. The O-C-A’s office Monday released a recommendation that Interstate customers have their rates reduced by six-point-three million dollars. Alliant spokesman John Ruff says the company is disappointed with the O-C-A’s request. He says they’re trying to invest billions in Iowa and says they’d reevaluate the plant if the request to lower their rates is approved.Ruff says Alliant wants to move forward with the plans for the natural gas-fired plant, but needs more money to fund it.Ruff says if the O-C-A’s request is approved, areas served by Interstate Power and Light could be losing out on a lot of benefits.Ruff says they want to head off any future problems by upgrading their infrastructure now. He says the rising demand for energy is driving the need for them to invest and upgrade their network of poles, wires and substations.Alliant is asking for an 82-million dollar increase, while the Consumer Advocate says they should refund six-point-three million dollars to customers. He’s also recommended assuring a nine-point-six percent profit, as contrasted with the more than twelve-percent the company asked for.
An IRS agent testified in eastern Iowa on Monday he didn’t miscount funds seized in a 1997 gambling ring investigation. The testimony came during the first day of fired Davenport Police Sergeant Greg Collins’ trial. Feds have charged the 47-year-old former head of the vice unit with taking nearly four grand seized by a task force investigating an alleged gambling ring. Authorities say they found the missing money in cigar boxes at his home. They also say Collins returned guns to a drug user. But Collins maintains the money was miscounted. And he says he did not know the federal informant he gave the guns to was a drug user. If convicted, Collins could get 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He also faces separate charges of theft, nonfelonious misconduct in office and fraudulent practices. His trial on those charges is set for Aug. 19.
Senator Charles Grassley’s calling for quick Senate action on legislation that would give the President more authority in trade negotiations. Early Saturday morning, the U-S House gave its final approval to a bill that provides “trade promotion authority” to the President, what used to be called “fast track” negotiating authority. Grassley says trade promotion authority is one of the key’s to the U-S economic recovery. The Senate’s Democrat Leader, though, may delay a Senate vote for a month. Grassley says the vote should happen this week.Grassley says once passed, trade promotion authority will help instill “immediate confidence” in U-S financial markets.
A Tama County man died Monday from a suspected case of e-coli poisoning. Doctors say the unidentified 72-year-old died from e-coli poisoning which he likely got from eating undercooked meat. An autopsy will be performed on the man today in Des Moines. State health officials say the death was likely not related to this month’s ConAgra ground beef recall.
Police say a bank robbery suspect arrested while hiding behind a trash bin in Ames on Monday may be the same man who held up a series of banks across Iowa and in two other states. Sioux City Police Captain Pete Groetkin says the Ames arrest is a real breakthrough.Authorities say 44-year-old John Pederson of Wayzata, Minnesota, fits the description of suspects in several recent robberies in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. Groetkin can’t yet say case-closed though, as he says they may send some officers to Ames to do some follow up on the case.Pederson is suspected in recent holdups in Ankeny, Ames, Des Moines, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids in Iowa; South Sioux City, Nebraska; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.