An Iowa legislator who tried to enact a statewide ban on the herbal supplement ephedra is applauding federal officials who yesterday yanked ephedra from the market nationwide. State Representative Clel Baudler, a republican from Greenfield, says athletes use the supplement because they believe it’s a muscle enhancer and causes weight loss. Baudler says in his opinion, it’s both a useless and a dangerous drug. Baudler says many deaths are attributed to the supplement; federal officials say ephedra has caused 155 deaths. Baudler had planned to offer a bill in the 2004 Iowa Legislature to ban the possession or sale of the substance, but now that the federal ban’s in effect, he won’t. Baudler says the dietary supplement industry launched a massive email drive last year to protest the ephedra ban Baudler proposed. Makers of the supplement contend it’s safe, and more people die from taking over-the-counter cold medications than have died from using ephedra.
Archives for 2003
Iowa quarterback Nathan Chandler may not have the numbers some of his predecessors had but when Iowa plays Florida in Thursday’s Outback Bowl he’ll try to become the first Iowa quartberback to win a January Bowl since Randy Duncan in 1959. Chandler took over for Heisman Trophy runner-up Brad Banks and has led an offense that lost four offensive linemen, All-American tight end Dallas Clark and spent much of this season without standout receiver Mo Brown. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was “banking” on Chandler having the poise of a fifth-year senior, and Ferentz says Chandler has displayed good mental toughness and ridden through the ups and the downs. “He’s had some disappointments, as we all have, and his are a little bit more noted than everybody’s elses…but I’ve been impressed with how he’s bounced back from some tough situations,” Ferentz says. Chandler has 17 touchdown passes and he rushed for five more. Perhaps most important, the Hawks finished third in the Big Ten in turover margain. “To me, the bottom line is we won nine football games with him as our quarterback,” Ferentz says. “That puts him in pretty select company.” Chandler knew he would have one shot at being the starter and feels he’s made the most of it. “I was excited about the opportunity,” Chandler says. “I knew we were going to have a good team. We set some high goals…it’s recognized as a team that’s tough and resilient, and I’m proud to be part of that team.”
The top three new year’s resolutions are to quit smoking, lose weight and handle money better. An Iowa City-based hotline can help with that first resolution. For smokers who are serious about quitting, the experts say the key to success is adequate preparation. Esther Baker, at the Iowa Tobacco Research Center, says Quitline Iowa can help with that, now, before the new year arrives. Baker says telephone counselors can help equip smokers with the proper tools and information they need to be successful. Quitline counselors can offer callers smoking cessation services over the phone. Callers can also request free material to be sent in the mail, or referrals to smoking cessation resources in their community, including support groups, clinics and consultants. Counselors will offer to call the wanna-be ex-smoker to check on their progress, as Baker says research shows a person who receives phone counseling during the quitting process is twice as likely to stay smoke-free as someone who tries to quit on their own. You can reach the hotline from 8 AM to midnight tollfree any day at 866-U-Can
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s campaigning in northern Iowa today, promising more money for agland conservation and less money for “big corporate farms.” During a stop at Waldorf College in Forest City, Kerry told the group of about 50 people that President Bush has done the bidding of corporate agriculture rather than family farmers. Kerry says it’s not only mission not accomplished, it’s mission abandoned — a reference to Bush’s speech declaring the end of major combat in Iraq, a speech delivered on an aircraft carrier in front of a “mission accomplished” banner. Kerry says two-thirds of all federal farm payments to to the largest ten percent of farm corporations, and he says that’s a “call to action.” Kerry says federal farm subsidies should be targeted toward family farmers not corporate farms.
Ottumwa’s out-going mayor is again trying to scuttle a local development project that’s won a state “Vision Iowa” grant. While many will ring in the New Year at party, the Ottumwa City Council will hold a rare New Year’s Eve meeting. The term of Mayor Van Gates is to expire at noon on Friday, and he plans to veto a resolution setting in motion the city’s purchase of land for the 21-MILLION dollar Bridgeview Center events center. The Mayor’s expected to veto the deal sometime today or tomorrow, as his last official act. It will take a four-to-one vote of the Ottumwa City Council to override the Mayor’s veto of the $400,000 real estate transaction that paves the way for the project.
The Iowa Hawkeyes have just two pre-conference games remaining, beginning with tonight’s matchup at home with Eastern Illinois. After back-to-back losses, the Hawkeyes are 6-2 but coach Steve Alford still likes the potential of his ballclub. Alford says his team is doing a lot of things right. Iowa is third in the Big Ten in scoring and is in the top five in scoring defense. But he’s worried about the 17-turn-overs per game and poor foul shooting. Alford was upset with the seniors after last week’s loss to Texas Tech but says they have provided strong leadership coming out of the Christmas break. Alford says the seniors get credit for the intense practices of the past four days. Eastern Illinois has struggled to a 1-7 mark to this point. Alford says Eastern Illinois has played a good schedule, so they won’t be intimidated coming into Carver Hawkeye. Alford says Eastern Illinois isn’t “near as tall” as Iowa, so he hopes to exploit that with an inside game.
The Drake Bulldogs lost in the opening round of the Islander Classic to host Texas A&M Corpus Christi 78-72. Free throws were a big factor. Corpus Christi converted 23 of 33 from the line while the Bulldogs made only 13 of 28. Drake coach Tom Davis says his team failed to execute down the stretch when the game was on the line. Davis says his team showed its inexperience. Brian Evans of Corpus Christi led all scorers with 25 points. Davis says Evans, who is Corpus Christi’s point guard, was the “difference maker” of the game. The Bulldogs play Cleveland State in tonight’s consolidation game.
The northwest Iowa judge who sparked controversy by granting a divorce to a lesbian couple has amended that decision. The Woodbury County Judge now says he did not have the authority to grant a divorce to end the women’s marriage. He now says he is “terminating” their “civil union,” which they obtained in Vermont. Iowa Family Policy Center director Chuck Hurley says it looks like a “distinction without a difference.” Hurley says when he read the first page of the ruling, he was happy the judge acknowledged he did not have jurisdiction to dissolve a lesbian marriage. But Hurley says on the second page, the judge changed the wording from marriage to civil union and terminated that. Hurley says the judge lacks the authority under current Iowa law to grant either a divorce or a termination of a civil union. Hurley says if the judge and the couple can’t “just create their own little kingdom in Sioux City and do whatever they want.” Hurley says his group will proceed with its own legal effort to undo the lesbian divorce. Written legal arguments on the case are to be presented to the Iowa Supreme Court on January 12th. Hurley says a lot is at stake because a judge, in Hurley’s opinion, is trying to ignore the state legislature’s edict that marriage in Iowa means a union of a man and a woman. Judge Jeffrey Neary has said he didn’t check to see the names of the two parties seeking a divorce in his court since there was no legal tiff between the two of them and his original ruling was merely putting the court’s stamp of approval on the plan which divided the couple’s property.
The attorney for a western Iowa woman accused of murder says key evidence should be excluded from her murder trial. Attorney Greg Steensland says authorities violated the constitutional rights of Dixie Shanahan because they got a search warrant for Shanahan’s home in Defiance without probable cause that a crime had taken place. Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies searched the home in October and found the body of Shanahan’s husband, Scott, hidden in a bedroom. Shelby County authorities say they requested the search warrant because Scott Shanahan had been missing for more than a year. Dixie Shanahan is charged with first-degree murder. Her murder trial is scheduled to start April 7th. A judge will rule next month on the request to exclude the evidence from the trial.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque has issued a report on the alleged sexual abuse of children by priests in its 30 Iowa counties over the past five decades. Archbishop Jerome Hanus says ten priests were accused of abuse in the 1950s, five priests were accused in the 1960s, and five more were accused in the ’70s and ’80s. Between 1990 and 2002, one priest was convicted and sent to prison. In all, accusations have been leveled against 26 priests in the archdiocese; 18 of them have since died. Some $716,000 was spent on settlements. The report says 67 children were victimized over the years, 55 of them were boys. Hanus issued an apology for the “inaction” of some archbishops, by allowing abusive priests to stay in power.