Abbie reports on various campaign attempts to get Iowans to the caucus.
Archives for November 2007
Rachael reports on CNN and YouTube’s Republican debate.
Democrat John Edwards says there are "very substantive policy differences" among the health care reform plans advanced by himself and the other two leading presidential candidates in his party, but Edwards says he doesn’t want to get involved in the "sparring" that’s erupted between rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
"I was the first candidate to come out with a universal health care plan in February. I’m proud of that. I’ve led on this issue," Edwards says. "I think there are differences between us. Senator Obama’s plan is not universal. It does not require that everyone be covered and as many at 15 million Americans would not be covered and I’ve seen estimates where as many as 90,000 Iowans would be left without coverage."
Those are roughly the same statistics Clinton used yesterday in her harsh critique of Obama’s proposal. According to Edwards, Clinton’s plan is "very similar" to his, but like Obama did yesterday Edwards suggests Clinton’s doesn’t provide as many details about how to reach the goal of insuring every American has health care coverage.
"I have not seen any specifics about how her mandate would work or how she would enforce her mandate," Edwards says. "I’ve laid out exactly how my mandate would work and we have a way to make sure that it’s enforceable."
According to Edwards, a "threshold requirement" for health care reform is that every American be covered and he, like others, uses the term "universal" to describe that kind of coverage. Clinton has suggested Obama’s plan is "betraying" the "principles of the Democratic Party." Edwards won’t go that far.
"I’m not interested in that kind of language," Edwards says. "I want people to know that there are real differences on this issue and what those substantive differences are. Those are the choices voters have."
Edwards made his comments today during a question-and-answer session with reporters in Des Moines. When pressed by reporters about whether the Clinton versus Obama spat will dampen both of their chances in the Iowa Caucuses, Edwards said he wasn’t interested in being a "political consultant" and closed by saying he’s "not interested in petty bickering."
Click on the audio link below to the entire six-minute exchange with reporters.
A state trooper is recovering from injuries he sustained in a traffic accident that happened while he was responding to a call in Fayette County Wednesday. Twenty-four-year-old trooper Michael Trimble of Elgin was driving north on Highway 150 just north of West Union about 12:30 P.M. Wednesday, with his lights and siren on.
He was headed to Decorah when he attempted to pass a pickup driven by 46-year-old Lee Johansen of West Union. Johansen made a left turn and collided with the passing squad car, sending both vehicles into the ditch.
Trimble was taken to the West Union hospital for treatment. Johansen was not injured.
After two years of remodeling and other work, Council Bluffs officials say they city’s historic Bayliss Park will be ready to open in time for Christmas. Council Bluffs Parks Director Ron Hopp says Bayliss Park has been a center of activity for years and has been closed while a new fountain was installed.
Hopp says the park is now complete with its new "look" and the holidays will be very special there this year. Hopp says the park has: "kind of a formal look. Something that if you walked up wouldn’t look like 1990 or 1980 or even 1900. Kind of a timeless, Victorian look to the park."
He says they are making a number of changes this year. Instead of the holiday figurines that once decorated the area, they are going for a more formal look that fits with the new decor.
"When we were going through the renovation process of the park, there were no lights. Of course, the electrical systems were torn out and those are all new," Hopp says, "the exciting thing about the lights this year is that the lighting was spearheaded by a volunteer organization within our community who really adopted this as a project. They actually raised about $130,000 and provided a lot of volunteer labor to help make this a reality for our community."
The lighting of Bayliss Park is the official kick off to the Winterfest Celebration in Council Bluffs, which runs through January.
A tentative agreement to end the Broadway stagehands strike was reached Wednesday, and now next month, several Broadway performers will be on-stage in southeast Iowa.
The city of Fairfield welcomes seven of Broadway’s biggest stars for the grand opening of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center and the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts the second weekend in December.
Each of the stars performing in the Gala has a strong connection to the works of Stephen Sondheim, though this is the first time they will be performing together. The world-renowned performers headlining the Gala are Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Donna Lynne Champlin, Kristin Huffman, Richard Kind, David Malis and Pamela Myers. The Grand Opening Gala will be held December 7th through the 9th.
At least two of Iowa’s four ski slopes could be open for business this weekend. Ken Slaba, office manager at Seven Oaks in Boone, says their snow machines have been operating nearly every night since Thanksgiving. He expects two of the Seven Oaks’ slopes to open on Saturday.
Slaba says it’s been cold enough over the last week to make good snow. There are two major factors needed for quality artificial snow-making. "Cold temperatures and low humidity," Slaba says, "the wind isn’t necessarily as bad, but it’s just – where we’re trying to focus the snow right now – it’s been a little bit difficult the last couple nights." If the weather cooperates, Seven Oaks will open one full week ahead of last year.
Slaba says the man-made snow won’t be as light and fluffy as the real stuff, but they’re grooming the white powder so the slopes are ready for skiers, snow boarders, and snow tubers. Sundown Mountain Resort near Dubuque is also scheduled to open this Saturday. Officials with the Mount Crescent Ski Resort near Council Bluffs say they hope to open by the middle of next week. Sleepy Hollow in Des Moines is set for an opening day on December 8 or 9.
A manhunt is underway in Des Moines after a man died Wednesday following his attempt at breaking up a bar-room brawl. The fight at the South Side Pizza and Pub broke out early Wednesday morning between two men, one of them, 38-year-old Robert Jerde of Des Moines.
Witnesses tell police a bystander, 59-year-old Dennis Levang, tried to separate the two brawlers and got hit himself and was knocked down. Levang died about 11 hours later, never regaining consciousness. An autopsy’s planned.
Police have issued a warrant for Jerde’s arrest on a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He’s white, 5-11, 165 pounds, short brown hair, brown eyes & several tattoos.
A 48-year-old Gowrie woman was killed Wednesday in a one-car accident in Webster County. The Iowa State Patrol identified the victim as Dena Rae Larson. The patrol reported that Larson was thrown from the vehicle which rolled several times after leaving the road at 310th Street, about two miles west of Garfield Avenue near Gowrie.
Larson was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the accident remains under investigation plus it’s not known when the accident happened. The patrol and Webster County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene at about six yesterday morning. Larson’s body will be taken to the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny for an autopsy.
Researchers at Iowa State University, the Iowa Department of Agriculture, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources are proposing a more than $22 million, five-year program to fight livestock odors. DNR Director Richard Leopold says the issue of farm odors is something Iowans have been dealing with for decades. He believes the plan presented to a legislative committee Wednesday will address many of the concerns Iowans have with large livestock operations.
"I think we have a proposal here that’s going to move us quickly into a direction to mitigate some of the odor concerns we have across the state," Leopold told Radio Iowa after his meeting with lawmakers. Under the plan, up to 300 livestock facilities in the state would incorporate bio-filters, animal diet manipulation, covers for landfills, vegetative buffers, and other technology to minimize odors.
"We know some things that work," Leopold says, "and we need to get those out in a big way. We’ve got some pilot projects, we’ve been learning, doing research for years…it’s time for some more widespread adoption of practices." The livestock operations would pay for a portion of the improvements, with the price depending on the effectiveness of the technology.
So-called "tier one" technologies are considered the "proven and most effective" tools.Leopold says "tier two" technologies are those that are showing promise in fighting livestock odors, but need more research. An interim legislative committee on livestock odors approved the proposal Wednesday, sending it to the full legislature for consideration during the 2008 session.