One person was killed and two were injured in a two-car crash at a rural intersection south of Hull Monday. 74-year-old Verga Nettinga was pronounced dead the Sioux Center Hospital. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Department report says a car driven by Nettinga collided with a car driven by 39-year-old Gary Barwick of Sheldon. Barwick and a passenger in the Nettinga vehicle, 45-year-old Jan Brown of Hull, were taken to the Sioux Center Hospital.
Archives for August 2005
Dan McCarney previews the season opener with Illinois State and says the Cyclones won’t be looking ahead to next week’s showdown against Iowa.
It is not the kind of schedule that helps a team build confidence but it is one that faces Ball State as Brady Hoke begins his third season as head coach. The Cardinals open at Iowa on Saturday and the first month of the season will also include visits to Auburn and Boston College. Hoke says he coached at Michigan eight years and didn’t like going to Iowa City then. He says it’s a real challenge and opportunity to play Iowa on the road.Ball State has nine starters back on defense from last year’s team that finished 2-9 and Hoke says they will have their hands full against an Iowa offense led by quarterback Drew Tate. He says Tate did a great job in light of the injury problems with the runningbacks. Hoke says Tate’s ability to make plays with his scrambling ability makes the preparation even more difficult. He says it’s a mental attitude you have to have up front to play through he whistle and do a good job of chasing. He says you have to take the proper angle of pursuit.
Gasoline prices jumped a dime-a-gallon in some Iowa cities overnight as hurricane damage is still being assessed at refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s not surprised by the boost and expects the price of gas to escalate even farther. Grassley says “You would expect price to ration gasoline when refineries that make 20-percent of the gas in this country are shut down because of a natural disaster. That just is a law of economics. When you get less of something, it costs more. When you get more of something, the price goes down.” Grassley says President Bush is expected to make a move today which might bring some relief. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve will likely be opened up so those refineries will have crude to start processing just as soon as they’re up and running, instead of waiting for barges that are still out in the Gulf of Mexico, stranded by the storm, to come into port and unload. The government stockpile is some 700-million barrels of oil, stored in underground caverns in several southern states. Grassley says the reserve is only tapped in an extreme situation — and it appears we’re in one. He says “It’s really held for our national defense when war maybe would intervene and make it difficult for us to have the supply of oil we need. In the case of natural disaster, it’s been used one or two years ago and it was used also during the Persian Gulf War.” Tapping into the reserves, Grassley says, may keep gas prices from climbing much higher. Triple-A-Iowa reports the statewide average for a gallon of self-serve unleaded is now at two dollars and 55 cents, up a fraction of a cent from yesterday, but now at its highest point ever. The national average is 2-60 a gallon, also up slightly from yesterday and about a penny below the all-time high.
One person was killed, another hurt, during a single-vehicle rollover accident in western Iowa’s Adair County. According to the Iowa State Patrol, 63-year old Janice Marie Allen died after the 2002 Ford Focus she was driving went out of control and rolled about a mile east of Casey at around three P.M. on Monday. Officials say when the car veered off onto the eastbound shoulder of the interstate, Allen overcorrected, causing the vehicle to dart into the median, where it rolled twice. The car then crossed the westbound lanes of traffic and came to rest in the north ditch. An unidentified 57-year old female passenger in the vehicle was injured. The Patrol’s new accident information website did not indicate where the women were from.
Iowans with the Army Corps of Engineers have left the Rock Island Arsenal headquarters for Louisiana. Their helping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by making arrangements to get ice hauled into the area. The Corps’ Ron Fournier says he anticipates the joke that the ice will be for their drinks, but he adds it’s a critical item after this kind of emergency, when the power’s out. With no electricity, the local folks need ice to cool donated blood, insulin and other medical supplies, to refrigerate food and other perishables, and for “plain and simple first aid use.” The Iowans aren’t hauling frozen cubes themselves, they’re coordinating shipments of ice from many parts of the country. The Corps has a list of contractors who’ll come from all over the U.S., bringing in 40-thousand-pound truckloads of it. About five Iowans from the Rock Island Corps headquarters have gone down there to start the “ice acquisition.” They’re hoping to get in some 200 truckloads of ice within the next 3 days, some 7 and-a-half-Million pounds of ice that they have to get ready to go. Ice acquisition is one permanent task of the Rock Island Corps headquarters whenever there’s an emergency that will require it. The mission of the Corps is to provide quality, responsive engineering service to the nation, and responding to flood damage is one of many parts of its mission.
The latest annual report from the Department of Natural Resources shows most Iowans can draw water from their tap without concern. Diane Moles compiled the info from two-thousand- 60 public water supplies. She says, “We’re pleased to report that the public water supplies for the most part are quite safe in our state. We did not have any water-borne disease outbreaks or deaths reported to anyone from Iowa public water systems in 2004.” Moles says the biggest problem contaminants are coliform bacteria and nitrates. She says over 88 percent of the population served by Iowa’s public water systems received water that was in compliance with all health-based standards. She says the violation rates remained fairly static, up a little bit from the previous year. She says some of the violations relate to weather patterns as violations are up during a wet year, versus a dry year when there are fewer violations. Moles says while they don’t have specific tests to prove it, they believe more contaminants are washed into water supplies in those wet years. She says, “That does appear to be what’s happening here.” She says you get more things moving into the ground water and Iowa is primarily a state that draws from groundwater sources like wells, although some major metropolitan areas draw from surface waters such as lakes and rivers. Moles says the lack of disease outbreaks and deaths shows the program of water testing and follow-up is working. She says if a system has a problem, they’re required to do a public notice to let consumers know what precautions to take. One thing the state doesn’t keep track of is the total cost to treat water in Iowa to make it safe to consume. She says the cost varies quite a bit between different systems as some take the water straight from a well without much treatment, while others pull the water out of a river and have sophisticated treatment systems. Moles says one thing she does know is the cost to turn on the tap for a drink of H-2-O is pennies compared to dollars that people spend to buy bottled water. You can see the entire water report by surfing to the D-N-R website at www.iowadnr.com.
Researchers at the universities of Northern Iowa and Nebraska are experimenting with nanotechnology to build a better magnet. U-N-I physics professor Paul Shand says they’ve had to create their own equipment for manipulating and studying very small particles, called nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter and a meter is about a yard long. To put it in perspective, it takes one-hundred-thousand nanometers to span the width of a human hair. Shand, along with researchers in Cedar Falls and Lincoln, are working with magnets and crystals at the atomic level to come up with ways of making electric motors smaller and better. Shand says electric motors are everywhere. Electric motors are used in everything from computer disc drives to washing machines and from blenders to hybrid gas/electric cars, which are becoming increasingly popular due to the bounding gasoline prices. Shand is heading up the team which recently won a 123-thousand dollar grant from the National Science Foundation. Shand says they’re trying to improve the properties of magnets by making them more powerful and more compact to, in turn, make electric motors smaller and more efficient.
A new report shows that in spite of concerns about the cost of healthcare for the poor, Iowa’s Medicaid program ended its fiscal year with a small surplus. House Speaker Christopher Rants says it looks like it’ll be five-million dollars. Rants says “that money really ought to go to the Senior Living Trust Fund,” noting the state borrowed from that fund to balance its books when money was tight not so long ago. “To me it’s appropriate that that money goes back.” In January of this year, lawmakers had to put 70-Million dollars into Medicaid to keep the health coverage program for low-income Iowans from going into the red. The Republican State Representative from Sioux City says it’s time to repay the fund, which has been repeatedly raided to pay for shortfalls in Medicaid. Rants says the state put more money into Medicaid knowing the healthcare plan for the low-income faced a shortfall. But things have changed, he says, and now it looks like we put too much money into Medicaid. To hold down the cost of healthcare, and of long-term care for seniors, Rants says it’s important to have enough money in the Senior Living Trust Fund to pay for “diversionary services,” that could keep people out of nursing homes and instead see that there are Assisted Living Centers and services that’ll help people stay in their own homes. But Governor Vilsack says repaying that fund will have to wait. Instead, he says, the surplus must go to fund the Indigent Defense Fund, a legal-expenses program for the poor that was created but under-funded…and lawmakers directed that any extra money should go into that.
The United Methodist Church has launched a national ad campaign that also involves grants to help churches advertise locally. Ginger Troughton is the newcomer coordinator for St. Mark’s United Methodist in Iowa City. She says the denomination is turning to secular sources to tell people about their spiritual activities. She says she thinks advertising for the church has taken a new step in the last four years. She says a lot of times church advertising tended to be local or word of mouth, which she says were great ways to get people to church. Troughton says they know there are a lot of people who don’t attend a church and that’s their target audience. She says if people are out there looking for something to belong to, to believe in, the church offers them a place to fit in and be accepted no matter what. St. Mark’s received a two-thousand dollar grant that it matched to run ads locally.She says they aired their ads on M-T-V, Fox News Network and one of the E-S-P-N sports networks to try and reach a variety of people. Many businesses advertise to try and pull customers from other businesses. Troughton says in their case it’s more to let people know that church is an option open for people, even if it’s not the United Methodist church. She says they have “the spiritual thing that’s available” and they’re not trying to take away from any other church. She says they want people to know there are churches available for them with people to listen, something they can be a part of and join in with. Troughton says they’ve already had some new families come to the church in response to the ads. She says they expect some more as a result of the national ads. The church is spending two-million dollars on the national ads that began running this week and run through September 18th.