Some Iowans might be wondering about the security of their cellular phones after last week’s incident with Paris Hilton. The hotel heiress’ cell phone/e-mail gadget was apparently hacked and information stored on it was posted on the Internet. Computer expert Robert Stephens, of the Geek Squad, says Iowans shouldn’t be too concerned. Stephens says “The rumor going around here is that she had somehow given her password to someone and they got it. So users of T-Mobile Sidekick shouldn’t worry here.” Stephens says the best way to protect your information is to password protect it. He adds, use your head when creating that password and don’t give it out to anyone. Stephens says “People are their own greatest victims of privacy by choosing poor passwords. The most common password is the word password. So you really should try and come up with some random letters and numbers for a password.” Some celebrities are being forced to change their phone numbers as those from Hilton’s phone were posted online, along with a batch of email addresses and photos.
Archives for February 2005
The Iowa National Guard’s adjutant general says his recent trip to Afghanistan reinforced his confidence in the troops he commands. Major General Ron Dardis traveled to Afghanistan a couple of months ago and for the first time he talked publicly about his trip during his annual “Condition of the Guard” address at the statehouse on Monday. Dardis visited the 750 Iowa soldiers in Task Force 168 in Afghanistan — the largest number of soldiers in any single unit deployed since World War II. Dardis says those and other Iowa soldiers are stationed throughout the country. “They are providing security for the reconstruction efforts. They are resupplying fire bases close to Pakistan and Iraq and they’re working with the Afghan people in their communities,” Dardis says. “It’s hard to explain what I saw. You have to be on the ground and see it first-hand in order to realize what is going on in Afghanistan.” In one area, Iowa soldiers helped build a school for children — and for women who had been denied an education by the Taliban. “Women and children fill the streets…new highways, new wells are being dug and various other infrastructure projects are underway,” Dardis says. “It was an incredible site to behold.” Dardis says he could see the impact of 40 years of war in Afghanistan. Dardis says he few Afghanistan wearing shoes and many children had open sores from lack of medical care. He says the people of Afghanistan have embraced democracy and the reconstruction of their country. “They want all the Taliban, the al Qaeda and the remnants of the old Afghanistan military gone,” Dardis says. Before he left the country, Dardis had tea with the new head of the Afghanistan National Army and met with Iowa soldiers all across the country. Dardis flew Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters with Apache helicopters as escort as he visited units to present combat badges, patches and medals — including Purple Hearts — to Iowa troops. “It was truly a unique experience,” Dardis says. “They truly are our hometown heroes.”
The semifinal round is underway at the state high school wrestling tournament. Waverly-Shell Rock will have four wrerstlers bid for state titles as the Go-Hawks total 100 points after the semifinal round. That includes freshman 103 pounder Mark Ballweg who pinned Johnston’s Josh South. One of the most exciting finishes was at 135 pounds where Iowa City High’s Zach McKray scored a reversal on Mitch Mueller from Iowa City West in the waning seconds for a 2-1 victory, avenging a loss in last years 130 pound title match. Linn-Mar 171 pounder Jay Borschel will bid for a fourth state title. He pinned Chris Dunkin of Knoxville today. Earlier, it was the quartertfinal round in class 1A. Logan Magnolia advanced three into the semifinals, Patrick Mackey at 119, Klint Kerstern at 140 and heavyweight Reid Muxfeldt to lead the team chase with 44 and a half points. Don Bosco is second.
Iowa coach Steve Alford says the final three games for the Hawkeyes are all about “character”. The Hawks visit last place Penn State tomorrow and at 4-9 are headed for their fifth losing season in Big Ten play in the last six years.Alford says the players came back from the loss at Minnesota with a positive attitude. Penn State will be looking for its second conference victory. The Nittany Lions are 1-12 in league play.
The Iowa women beat Illinois 87-63, shooting 61-and-a-half percent from the field and canning 11 three-pointers. The Northern Iowa women remain locked for second place in the Missouri Valley Conference after beating Drake 66-48. The Panthers are tied with Creighton and host the Bluejays tomorrow. Iowa State’s men’s basketball Sunday against Nebraska is a sell out. There are still a few tickets left for the Cyclone’s Senior nightWednesday against Missouri.
Day two of the state wrestling meet is in the books and there were a couple of upsets. In Class 3A, top-ranked Jake Kerr of Centerville was beaten in the 152-pound class. In 1A, top-ranked 152-pounder Aaron Jansen of Emmetsburg was beaten. Iowa City West narrowly leads Waverly-Shell Rock in the 3A title race. Centerville leads Glenwood in Class 2A, while Kingsley-Pierson and Logan-Magnolia are tied after day one of action in the 1A field.
The 2006 campaign for governor is already well underway. A shadow group launched a website this week, urging democrat Governor Tom Vilsack to run for a third term. He says he won’t . The Republican National Committee’s chairman told Iowa Republicans this week they need to start laying the groundwork for the gubernatorial election that’s 20 months away, and he urged the contestants in the G-O-P race to refrain from personal attacks. Congressman Jim Nussle, one of those expected to be a republican candidate for governor, delivered campaign-style speeches this week to a group of republican women and the Iowa Sportsmens Federation. Bob Vander Plaats, a G-O-P candidate in 2002, attended the Iowa Christian Coalition’s annual banquet this week. But even his key supporters, like former State Auditor Richard Johnson, have trouble pronouncing his name. Johnson recently pronounced it Vander PLATS like slats in a box rather than Vander PLAWTZ like plots of land. And Steve Sukup, a candidate for governor in 2002 who has an unusual name himself that’s pronounced SOO-kup, has endorsed his former foe, but pronounces the first part of Vander Plaats last name VAWN-der — like yonder. So what’s up? “Well, the explanation is VAN-der PLAWTZ,” Vander Plaats told Radio Iowa. “I don’t care how they pronounce it just as long as they vote for it.” Vander Plaats says he’s proud of his Dutch heritage
The final financial details are apparently in place for a new racetrack near Newton. Newton attorney Dennis Chalupa works for the group that’s putting the deal together, and he spoke with reporters Friday in Newton. He says U-S Motorsports Corporation has completed arrangements that will lead to construction of a 70-MILLION dollar racetrack complex. Ground will be broken for the project this spring. It’s good financial news by a community that has been rocked by layoffs at Maytag. Chalupa says the track will bring new jobs to the area. There will be 35 to 50 full-time employees at the track. On race weekends, he estimates up to 500 workers may be needed. The track will be designed by NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace. The race track will be the first designed by an active professional driver. The track will be 7/8ths of a mile and there’ll be seating for up to 80-thousand. Track developers say nearly eight million people live within 200 miles of Newton, and that’s their target audience for the big time racing events they hope to schedule at the track.”One of the things that I’m excited about it that I think this makes Newton a real destination as opposed to somewhere you drive through and maybe stop,” Chalupa says. The Newton City Council is scheduled to vote on the development agreement next week. An earlier deal had called for the city of Newton to guarantee one of the loans for the track, but under this new arrangement, the city doesn’t have to back the loans. Chalupa says that makes it a “no-risk” deal for the city. The track will be built just southeast of Newton, near Interstate-80 exit 164. If all goes according to plan, the first race at the track could be held in the summer of 2006. NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, the track designer, is retiring from the NASCAR circuit and plans to be on hand for the groundbreaking in Newton later this spring.
What’s being dubbed a thank-a-thon will run tomorrow (Saturday) on hundreds of radio and T-V stations across the region. The Red Cross asked broadcasters to run a public service announcement from 6 AM to 6 PM thanking the public for financial support during recent months after hurricanes slammed the southern U-S and the tsunami hit southern Asia. The agency’s David Rudduck, in Des Moines, says the donations were direly needed and the help was appreciated. Iowans alone donated almost two-million dollars to the Red Cross in the past two months. Nationwide, 240-million was donated for tsunami relief. Rudduck says the money let the Red Cross send relief teams over to Asia and helped provide items like tents, bed sheets, blankets, cooking sets and other items to help people recover. He says Iowans gave very generously and it’s appropriate for the Red Cross to now say “thank you” to those who donated money. Rudduck says people need to know their money is going to the right place, it is helping people and effecting the lives of those who were hit by disasters. For more information, call your local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Several international college students have gathered in Marshalltown this weekend for a conference on multicultural communities. Michelle Soria is the executive director of the Iowa Council for International Understanding which organized the event. She says it’s a retreat for 50 students representing 31 different countries, as well as students from Iowa universities, who’ll come together and “learn about strengthening multicultural communities.” Soria says they picked Marshalltown as the site of the conference as the city’s undergone a big cultural change. She says Marshalltown’s had a big influx of Latino immigrants and they want to hear from local leaders about how they’ve handled that change. Soria says the people who’ve been involved in the good and bad of the community’s simulation of the immigrants will speak, including presenters from the Hispanic ministry of a Catholic church, the police chief and an administrator from the local hospital. She says they also have the Director of Community Partnerships and Training from University of Northern Iowa’s Iowa Center for Immigrant Leadership and Integration. She says the center has worked statewide with many towns that have experienced and increase in the Latino population. Sorio says the goal of the conference is to equip the students to know how to work in multicultural communities. She says whatever their background is, staying here in Iowa or returning abroad, it will team them how to change in general and work with that change. The conference will be held at the Marshalltown Best Western Regency Inn today (Friday) and Saturday.