A northeast Iowa teenager is in big trouble for what police say was a big fib. Waterloo police have charged a 15-year-old Waterloo girl with making bomb threats. On December 19th, a bomb threat was called in to Waterloo West High School. Stephanie Monique Cockhren was taken into the Black Hawk County Jail Monday morning, charged with the felony, and then released into her mother’s custody. Cockhren is a student at Waterloo West.
Archives for December 2003
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the situation with Mad Cow Disease is a perfect example of why America needs Country of Origin Labeling — known as COOL. Grassley says the COOL initiative in Congress has been taking plenty of heat but now, he hopes the legislation will gain new support. Grassley says COOL legislation was in the 2002 Farm Bill but the House has passed a measure that would delay it from taking effect for another two years. The Senate will vote on that legislation to delay COOL in January. Grassley says he’ll be diligent in pushing the benefits of COOL. Grassley says he’s “going to continue to ride herd on Congress and the Department of Agriculture to see that this Country of Origin Labeling legislation gets implemented the way that Congress intended, which means taking effect September 30th, 2004.” Grassley says the Mad Cow case that appeared last week in Washington state is a wake-up call to the USDA. Democratic presidential candidates blame the Bush Administration for not taking more steps to better prepare the nation for a Mad Cow outbreak. Speaking Sunday in Ankeny, Howard Dean said the U-S should follow Japan, which tests every animal at the time of slaughter. Grassley says Dean is off-base. Grassley notes U-S consumer consumption of beef has -not- fallen in the past week, it’s only other countries that are skittish about our product, which he contends will be a temporary situation. Grassley also pledged to eat one pound of beef every week to show his confidence in the safety of American beef — and adds, he had beef last night for dinner.
The nation’s still at orange alert and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s pleased with the cooperation the U-S is getting from other nations in trying to thwart terrorists. The alert level was raised last week, based on information that’s still just leaking out. Some flights between Los Angeles and Paris were cancelled last week and reports say Las Vegas was an apparent target. Grassley says he’s encouraged by France’s immediate response to U-S warnings and how other nations are agreeing to our request to place armed air marshals on certain international flights. Meanwhile, Las Vegas will be a partial no-fly zone on New Year’s Eve. Only commercial flights, medical, police and military aircraft will be allowed to fly over the Vegas strip between nine p-m and three a-m.
Two U-S Senators who’re running for President remain in Iowa, campaigning in the waning days of 2003 in hopes of a better finish in the 2004 Iowa Caucuses. Both are focusing on farm-related issues. North Carolina Senator John Edwards says President Bush is “catering to big agribusiness by failing to improve safety measures.” Edwards today unveiled his own plan for ensuring America’s food supply is safe, and that includes not letting animals like the one found in Washington state to have Mad Cow to be slaughtered for its meat. Edwards says some of his opponents have accused him — because he’s in his first term as a U-S Senator — of having too little experience to be President. Edwards says his life’s work as a trial lawyer prepared him because he battle special interests and their “armies of lawyers” and that’s what he’ll do as President. Edwards says he is ready to fight the big battles against big oil, the pharmaceutical industry and agribusiness conglomerates. Edwards says big livestock, big dairy and the big meat packing industry have written big checks to President Bush’s campaign and in return, Bush aides killed a plan to keep so-called ‘downed cows” from being slaughtered. Edwards says he will not accept campaign contributions from Washington lobbyists or Political Action Committees, and he says as President, he’ll put food safety first. Edwards is calling for more testing of cattle, and use of new, faster tests. He also supports a national tracking system for livestock. Edwards is campaigning today in Waverly, Oelwein, Independence, Manchester, Elkader, and Dubuque. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is campaigning in northern Iowa, and is outlining his ideas for strengthening family farms.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says it’s time to make federal air quality rules tougher to ensure fewer kids and adults suffer asthma attacks. Kerry says the federal government “needs to recognize that asthma is induced by environment, by air quality.” Kerry says if elected, he’ll put in place the standards for air quality that are in the Clean Air Act which “George Bush is walking away from.” Kerry says the Bush Administration is going backwards on air quality. Kerry says he would take “aggressive action” to reduce mercury emissions and reduce the amount of “particulates” released into the air by industry and power plants. He would also have the federal government establish air quality rules for large-scale hog confinements. Kerry says University of Iowa research shows 25 percent of the kids who live near a large-scale hog lot suffer from asthma, while only 14 percent of other Iowa kids have asthma. Kerry made his comments while campaigning in northern Iowa yesterday. He’s campaigning in Forest City, Kanawha, Algona, Dakota City, Fort Dodge, Jefferson and Carroll today.
The nation’s cattle-futures markets are likely to continue a down trend today. Even as investigators became increasingly certain the first and only case of Mad Cow disease in the U-S came from Canada, live cattle futures fell Monday. Late last week, contracts for live cattle and feeder cattle on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell the limit. Rules limit any one-day dump or drop to three cents a pound, and as a result, trading shut down within minutes of the open. The trading limit was increased Monday, allowing prices to fall by as much as five cents a pound. But markets usually trade thinly over the holidays. And beef prices have been at historic highs for months now with strong exports and high-protein diets helping fuel continuing domestic demand. The abrupt closing of some overseas markets is likely to mean lower prices for farmers but also cheaper beef at the meat counter. Stocks that fell after the Mad Cow news are already rebounding for McDonalds, Outback Steakhouse and Tyson Foods, and lower beef prices will help other restaurants that have struggled for months with the high price of menu items.
Two Iowa teens had a court appearance Monday in southern Minnesota. The two were arrested Friday night after a woman says they tried to carjack her at a shopping mall in Mankato. The 38-year-old woman says she came out of the mall about 9 p.m. and was forced into her car by the two teens, but she jumped out. They carried pellet guns that investigators say looked a lot like semi-automatic handguns. The woman suffered minor scrapes when she jumped from the moving car. Police say the boys drove around the shopping center’s parking lot, then parked the car and fled on foot. Nineteen-year-old Carlos Chavez from Buffalo Center is in the Blue Earth County jail, and a 17-year-old who told officers he’s an illegal alien from Mexico is being held in a juvenile facility in Mankato.
Iowa State University researchers have won a $440,000 federal grant to study how trees, shrubs and other plants may help reduce odor around poultry and egg production facilities. Brian Meyer, spokesman for the ISU College of Agriculture, says the three-year grant comes from the USDA.Iowa is the nation’s number-one egg producing and egg-processing state. Iowa has about 70 egg producers who have a combined 40-MILLION hens, which are laying 10-BILLION eggs a year. The study will include both field and laboratory studies and computer modeling to investigate the location and cost-effectiveness of buffers as well as the types of trees and plants that should be used. Meyer says this will be the first comprehensive study to look at how much benefit these buffers can provide. The first plantings will be done next spring at two places in Iowa as well as at sites in Delaware and in Pennsylvania. Meyer hopes the study results will provide practical, science-based information to both large and small poultry producers, offering them a more natural way to tackle odor. Meyer says the project has gotten positive feedback from individual poultry producers as well as the Iowa Poultry Association and the Iowa Egg Council.
Iowa yielded the first seven points of overtime as Creighton pulled away for an 84-72 victory in a women’s college basketball game Sunday in Iowa City. It followed a furious finish to regulation which saw Iowa’s Jenny Lillis sink a three-pointer with :29 remaining to give the Hawks a 70-67 lead. Creighton’s Sara Hildebrand responded with a three pointer 11 seconds later to send the game to overtime. Iowa coach Lisa Bluder says her team got outscored 14-2 in overtime on their home floor. She says that shot at the end of regulation burst Iowa’s bubble and “for some reason we didn’t have any life in that overtime.” The Hawkeyes had trouble scoring in overtime but Bluder says overall the defensive effort was sub-par.Iowa is now 6-4 and the Hawkeyes face a quick turn-a-tound. They play at Missouri Tuesday afternoon
Ramon Ochoa was one of the key ingredients in Iowa’s run to the Outback Bowl. With standout receiver Mo Brown sidelined for much of the season with an ankle injury, Ochoa — a senior from Maywood, California, — picked up the slack and led the team in receptions with 33 and also set an Iowa recvord for punt return yards. It almost didn’t happen. Ochoa played the entire season with a stress fracture in his foot that was diagnosed during pre-season drills. Ochoa could have had surgery and come back next season, but he graduated this month and decided he wanted to see how long he could play on it. Ochoa says he struggled with the injury every week. Ochoa says if you came out to a practice on Wednesday, you might not have seen him take a snap, but he says “it seemed to work on Saturdays.” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says at time he wondered how Ochoa was going to play from week-to-week. Ferentz says Ochoa looked like “a dog with arthritis on the practice field” but was able to make it work on game days. Ochoa and the rest of the Hawkeyes take on Florida in Thursday’s Outback Bowl.