You can see over 300 examples of research by Iowa kids today at the annual State Science and Technology Fair in Ames. Andrea Spencer is the director of the 46th annual fair.She says the purpose of the fair is to help students develop their interest in science and research. She says around 430 students worked on the various projects. One project looked at the different tensil strengths of string to see how they conduct sound, and another involves a botany project that studies b-t corn and butterflies. Spencer says the middle and high school students are competing for over 32-thousand dollars in prizes and scholarships. The Science Fair runs from 9 A.M. until noon today in Hilton Coliseum.
Archives for March 2003
Governor Tom Vilsack says a hike in the state tax on cigarettes is the best way to bankroll the huge economic development fund he and legislators have been talking about. In January, Vilsack proposed a 500-million dollar state economic development fund to encourage business location and expansion in Iowa. Then, the Iowa Farm Bureau suggested raising a statewide property tax and creating a two billion dollar fund. Vilsack is urging legislators to quickly make up their minds about whether to create the economic development fund.Vilsack says the state can’t afford to wait, he says once they may a decision to make a decision, the process can move very quickly. Vilsack says raising the state cigarette tax about a quarter per pack would be enough to finance the sale of 500-million dollars worth of bonds. Vilsack says in order to bankroll the larger fund lawmakers seem to favor, there’d have to be a larger increase in the cigarette tax, and perhaps some state gambling taxes would have to be reserved as well.
A baby is safe with an Iowa foster family today after someone dropped her off at a hospital. Human Services won’t say where, after deciding to protect the identity of the parent, but it’s the first use of Iowa’s “Safe Haven” law since it was passed a couple years ago. The law shields parents from being prosecuted under abandonment or child-endangerment laws, if they take unwanted children to a hospital. DHS spokesman Roger Munns says the Safe Haven law was passed after the discovery of an abandoned newborn left in a snowy farm field shocked Iowans. Two or three years ago the case was called “Baby Chelsea” after a young mother allowed her newborn to die. That teenage mother is still in prison today. Munns says the Safe Havens law was crafted to give a “no questions asked” alternative to anyone who simply hands over a child to authorities. He says these are troubled girls who may actually deny their pregnancy, and when they suddenly have a child and want to make sure they can see that it’s okay, the law will let them. The human services department decided that to protect the person or persons responsible, they’re not telling the town or hospital where the newborn girl was dropped off Tuesday. He says one of the features that makes the law work is being able to bring the child anonymously, and without that protection, he fears it wouldn’t be so appealing. The child was born Tuesday and brought in the same day, healthy, and DHS will find a home as soon as parental rights are terminated. The child’s already in a pre-adoptive home, and Munns says the paperwork will be taken care of without delay to allow the child to be adopted. He thinks the process has to be done quickly. The same law directs social workers to tell the biological parents of the child of its adoption, if they can be located, but Munns says we may never know who they are.If the natural mother or father step forward, they can have input on the adoption. The only details given about the healthy newborn girl are that she was taken to a hospital somewhere in the state and left with a note saying the little girl had been born at home earlier in the day. It also said, “Please make sure she will be taken care of. And know she is loved very much. Just trying to do what is best.”
A leader in the tiny southeast Iowa town of Mount Sterling is pushing a city ordinance which would ban lying. Sixty-nine-year-old Jo Hamlet is the mayor pro tempore of Mount Sterling, and he has heard a few too many tall tales about hunting and fishing. Hamlet says he’s heard of people shooting 16-pound geese, catching nine pound bass, 28-pound wild turkeys and 200-point bucks and he thought it was time to “tame this down a bit.” Hamlet says someone recently told him one of their cows had given birth to a 125-pound calf.Hamlet says an ordinance that bans lying would definitely help and make people think.Hamlet hasn’t decided what the penalty for lying would be, but is considering mouth-washing or a tongue-lashing as punishment.Hamlet’s primary aim is to tame down the boasting about hunting and fishing triumphs, but his anti-lying ordinance would apply to run-of-the-mill gossip, too. Hamlet, who’s a cattle buyer by trade, says he’s still perfecting the ordinance, and may take a straw poll of Mount Sterling’s 40 residents to gauge its popularity before putting it to a vote of the City Council.
The Iowa State Cyclones will be looking for an unprecedented fourth straight bowl trip during the upcoming season. Cyclone coach Dan McCarney will be looking to find a replacement for standout quarterback Seneca Wallace during spring drills, but the success of recent years has the players expecting another good season. Most of last year’s team returns and McCarney says that experience has been evident. He says the senior class has to show leadership on the field and in the weight room and everywhere else, and this is a good bunch to do that.Iowa State’s spring game is April 19th.
Pitching dominates softball and that is why Central College could make a run at the division three national title this spring. The Dutch are 10-0 and coach George Wares has a deep pitching ataff that includes senior’s Libby Hysell and April Miller along with sophomore Carrie Schmidt,Central’s downfall last season was an inability to score enough runs. Wares feels the Dutch have improved offensively but defense will remain their strength. With so many veterans back the Dutch have lofty expectations, but he says they also realize they play in the best conference in the country.Central opens the Midwest Regional Invitational in St. Louis, today.
The Northern Iowa baseball team has been riding the bat of junior outfielder Adam Boeve . The former Central Lyon standout has seven homers and 43 extra base hits already this season. Last season he had a total eight homers and 16 extra base hits. U-N-I coach Rick Heller who says Boeve came off a great summer league season, and should be one of the top players in the Missouri Valley Conference. He says Boeve is a great leader with multiple tools. The Panthers return to action at home Sunday against Wiscoinsin-Milwaukee.
Where were you ten years ago? It might help if you were reminded the Great Flood of ’93 was just starting to wash over Iowa. Jeff Johnson is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in metro Des Moines. For people who weren’t here, Johnson says that flood a decade ago was a doozy. Johnson says the flood of ’93 caused two-point-seven billion worth of damage statewide, causing problems in every one of the 99 counties. On this tenth anniversary, the National Weather Service is reminding people about the potential severity of flooding and flash flooding. Johnson says this year, it’s likely Iowans will -not- see rivers at the levels they were in 1993. He says this spring’s flood outlook is -not- as bad as ten years ago. Johnson says people should always be aware of potential flash flooding in low-lying areas after storms with heavy rainfall. He says motorists should never try to drive across a flooded road as only six inches of running water is enough to wash a vehicle away.The National Weather Service has put together a comprehensive review of the 1993 Flood and how it impacted Iowa. That can be found on the Internet at www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx.
Iowa’s Catholic nuns are at it again. A few weeks ago a coalition chipped in to buy radio advertisements urging people to seek peaceful ways of solving world conflicts, and now they’ve taken out newspaper ads. Sister Marilyn Huegerich is President of the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton, says it’s the same group of “women religious.” She says especially once war was declared, the sisters felt they should speak with the “corporate voice” of one body, since they feel called to a gospel message of being peacemakers. Money is contributed by each congregation to buy the ads, which consist of a brief text message on the war and grieving the destruction it’s causing. She explains the “point” is lamenting that the government gave up in diplomacy and went to war, and they grieve the senseless loss of live of both Iraqi citizens and our own men and women in the military. She says they can’t support the war. The nun says they believe aggression “violates our national soul” and betrays America’s values. Every Monday the nuns hold a silent prayer vigil in front of the Clinton County courthouse and local residents come to join. She says the sisters believe it’s a human-rights issue, and not to proclaim the gospel would be a disservice to their religious vocation as well as to “God’s people.” Nobody’s come forward to criticize the coalition of congregations directly for its views, and Sister Huegerich says she thinks there are many people with deep reservations about the war who fear speaking out because they might seem to be condemning the U.S. troops. She says “our hearts are with them” and all they’re going through. The “call of nonviolence” is signed by the presidents of four Dubuque orders, and others in Davenport, Clinton, Eldridge, Iowa City, Cedar rapids, Rock Island and two orders in Wisconsin.
Authorities have filed drug charges against a Northwest Iowa couple. The Buena Vista County Sheriff and the Alta police have charged 32-year-old Chad Larson and 32-year Cynthia Larson in connection with searches conducted at their Alta residence in December… and their former residence in rural Buena Vista County last October. Chad Larson was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, and three counts of child endangerment. Cynthia Larson was charged with three counts of child endangerment. In addition, the both face charges of Manufacturing Methamphetamine… Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp and Prohibited Acts.