The Ames Community School District becomes the third in the state torecognize sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. The board hasvoted in favor of providing equal educational & employment opportunities toprograms & activities for homosexual and bisexual students. Gena Russell, astudent at Ames High School, calls the new policy an acknowledging of herexistence as a lesbian student.Ames Superintendent Nick Johns says the policy is a wake up call for theentire community.Ames joins the Iowa City and Cedar Falls school districts in recognizing gaystudents’ rights.
Archives for March 1999
A handful of legislators are meeting to discuss construction of a newoffice building on the statehouse grounds. Preliminary plans call for thebuilding to become home to legislative staff and a cafeteria. SenatorPatrick Deluhery, a democrat from Davenport, says he’ll support that plan,as it doesn’t provide individual offices for legislators themselves.At the Iowa statehouse, legislators’ offices consist of their own small deskand smaller desk for their secretary — both of which are on the House andSenate floors.Deluhery has visited capitols where there are massive buildings whichprovide individual offices for legislators he says it makes it harder forlegislators to interact and takes more time.
Three fugitives from North Carolina are in custody after leading IowaHighway Patrolmen on a 30-mile high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon thatwrecked four cars. Troopers tried to catch the stolen car after the suspectsallegedly sped away from a Mason City-area gas station without paying.Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jerry Ketchum says the suspects rammed threepatrol cars and repeatedly evaded roadblocks on Interstate 35.The suspect’s car was destroyed but no one was hurt — suspects, officers orany others. All three men face car theft, theft of gasoline and marijuanapossession charges. The driver also faces charges for eluding police,reckless driving and doing 92 miles an hour in a 65-zone.
The fourth try was not the charm for the Bremer County town of Denver, justnorth of Waterloo, as a school bond issue failed there Tuesday. The 4.3million dollar referendum needed 60-percent approval to pass and got58-percent.Denver School Superintendant Bob Conway is disappointed.Conway says it’s hard to understand why the bond didn’t pass with 15-hundredof the 22-hundred voters turning out.
This weekend the Iowa Barnstormers open pre-season camp, literally. TheBarnstormers will train at the Camp Dodge Military Reservation which is theheadquarters for the Iowa National Guard. The team and coaching staff willreside in the barracks, dine in the mess hall, practice on the grounds andwill have use of a new physical training facility including a state of theart weight training center.Coach John Gregory says Camp Dodge will provide a perfect setting for theteam to come together. Gregory says fans can get a glimpse of camp for themselves. The NationalGuard has set up several sets of bleachers to accommodate the fans.
Ben Van Iderstine’s RBI single in the bottom of the 14th inning liftedIowa State to a 6-5 victory over Iowa in college baseball action in AmesTuesday. Cyclone coach Lyle Smith says it was a good victory for a club thathas struggled to score runs.The Cyclone’s take an 0-12 Big-12 mark on the road to Texas Tech thisweekend. Iowa State is 7-20 overall. Iowa drops to 10-13.
There will be a statewide tornado drill today as part of severe weatherawareness week. National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Theophilussays some of the things we’ve always been told about tornadoes have changed.He says the corner is no longer considered the best place to be in thebasement during a tornado.Theophilus says some people think that opening a window will help preventdamage during a tornado. He says that is also wrong.The statewide tornado test will start with a tornado watch at 10 A-M, then atornado warning will be issued followed by an all clear message at 10:30A-M. The statewide drill offers local government and private groups the chance to test their severe weather communications before serve weather hitsfor real.
Students from six Iowa high schools will get the chance to talk with a mantoday who’s considered an expert in international relations, the Balkans andin the drug war. Former Deputy U-S Ambassador Herbert Okun is now VicePresident of the International Narcotics Board. Organizers of today’smeeting via the Iowa Communications Network say he’s a distinguished leader.Richard Murphy is spokesman for the Heartland Area Education Agency 11 andis coordinating today’s 10:30 a-m linkup between students and Okun, who willbe in Johnston. Okun mediated the dispute between Greece & Macedoniabetween 1993 and ’97 and served as an advisor to NATO’s commander forSouthern Europe. Murphy says Okun will also be able to talk with studentsabout the ‘big picture’ of the drug problem:Even though the drug problem is one of international proportions, Murphy saysIowa high school students can still make a difference.Okun will be meeting via the I-C-N today with students in: Panora, Pella,Des Moines, West Des Moines and Adair-Casey.
If your electricity comes from a public utility, you soon may be kept in thedark about pricing and marketing policies. A bill which cleared the HouseCommerce Committee yesterday would keep the business dealings of municipalutilities secret from citizens who’re paying the bills. RepresentativeWillard Jenkins represents parts of Cedar Falls, including the city-ownedcable and telephone utilities.Jenkins says city-run utilities operate at a disadvantage because theirbusiness operations are a matter of public record.If the bill becomes law, the marketing and pricing policies of municipalutilities will be kept secret until the utility’s board decides to make itpublic.Critics say the public has a right to know how their tax dollars are beingspent, and keeping public utility board proceedings open achieves that goal.
Changes in the rules for “open containers” of alcoholic beverages in a carare afoot at the Iowa Statehouse. It’s now illegal for a driver to have a beer or a glass of hooch WITHINtheir reach in a vehicle traveling on Iowa roads. The federal government isthreatening to withhold over 13-and-a-half million dollars worth ofroad-building money over the next three years if Iowa lawmakers fail totoughen the “open container” law. A bill which cleared the Senate Tuesdayestablishes a 50-dollar penalty for having an open container of alcoholanywhere in the passenger compartment. Senator Andy Mc-Kean, a republicanfrom Anamosa, says it is a modest bill that will make highways safer andCritics, like Senator Matt Mc-Coy of Des Moines, said the bill goes too far,especially for “road-trippers” who may be going to a ballgame with adesignated driver. He says the driver could still be cited even though hewasn’t driking. Mc-Coy says pretty soon, there won’t be enough places to putall the lawbreakers.