The Ames School Board has approved the first of what could be several newsecurity measures implemented following several bomb threats in the last school year. Theboard approved a new security plan and the installation of electroniccard-activated door locks for the high school. Deputy Superintendant RayRichardson says they’ll gradually implement the policy.Richardson says the district is also looking at installing cameras near thedoors of the high school. He says they are looking at putting motiondetectors in all school buildings.The electronic door locks will cost the school district 47-thousand dollars.The high school was evacuated three times last school year due to bombthreats.
Archives for August 1999
Women are beginning to break the so-called “glass ceiling” in what’sliterally been a man’s field. A farm commodity group, the Iowa CornPromotion Board, has elected Helen Inman of Bancroft as its chairman.Inman says women have recently risen to leadership roles in other farmgroups.Inman says her goal as chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board is to helpdevelop new uses for corn.Inman and her husband rotate corn and beans, run a small cow/calf operationand sell seed.(editor’s note: Mrs. Inman prefers the term “chairman.”)
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling for new Congressional hearings on the1993 standoff at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Grassley saysnew reports have emerged about the F-B-I’s use of certain weapons andtactics that may have resulted in the fire that killed dozens of people.Grassley says the new information bodes very ill for Attorney General JanetReno, who testified six years ago that none of the incendiary devices wereused by the F-B-I and that there was no “seige mentality” at the site.Grassley says the new reports would make it clear the Justice Department andthe F-B-I lied before Congress about Waco, if the reports are legitimate.The blaze that ended the 51-day standoff killed Davidian leader David Koreshand about 80 people, including 20 children.
Impoverished Catholic nuns in several Iowa cities may benefit from a comedyshow that opens tonight at the Des Moines Civic Center. Maripat Donovan co-wrote “Late Nite Catechism,” which features an actress playing anun who’s only known as “Sister” while teaching a class.The show premiered in Chicago in 1993. Donovan says a portion of theproceeds from each run of the show go to help aging nuns who have no otherform of retirement income other than charity.She says the show donated 100-thousand dollars last year to various ordersof retired religious sisters across the U-S. Donovan says being Catholic isnot a requirement to have a good time at the show.The show opens in Des Moines tonight and runs through September 26th. Whilespecifics haven’t yet been worked out on the donations, the three largesthomes for nuns in Iowa are in Des Moines, Dubuque and Davenport.
Eleven chapters of a group known as “Parents Anonymous” have sprung uparound the state. Sue Renfrow, the group’s Iowa program director, says somemembers have trouble controlling their tempers. Others just need somesupport as they stress-out over juggling kids and work.Renfrow says the group carries the name “Anonymous” so parents who’ve beeninvestigated by the state feel comfortable.Renfrow says there’s a wide range of parents participating.Renfrow says most chapters have a “twin bill” so kids have something to dowhile the parents sit and talk.There are five “Parents Anonymous” chapters in Des Moines, two in Fort Dodgeand one each in Ottumwa, Perry, Winterset and Indianola. Renfrow says theirgoal is to expand the program statewide.
With the harvest just weeks away, rail officials are trying to line uphopper cars to move grain. The division superintendant of the I-&-M Railinkin Mason City, Steve Norton, says he is preparing for an extra-large grainrush. Norton says manner farmers still have stored corn from last year tomove.Norton says he has ordered an extra 500 cars for this year’s harvest. Hesays more grain heading to the east has also tied up rail cars.He says farmers need to plan ahead and be patient.Norton says the break up of the Conrail system could also impact themovement of grain this fall.
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says opening the season against a ratedopponent is a tough challenge but his team is ready. The Ferentz era beginsSaturday when the Hawkeyes host fifth-ranked Nebraska.Ferentz says the team considers the matter surronding former linebacker RyanLoftin closed. Loftin was arrested over the weekend and charged withextortion and theft.Sophomore Kyle McCann will start at quarterback for the Hawkeyes and Ferentzsays he was the most consistent during pre-season drills.Iowa’s biggest weakness heading into the season is the offensive line.Ferentz has shuffled some players, hoping to strengthen that area by movingveteran center Chad Deal to guard and moving back-up center A.J. Blazekinto the starting line-up.Nebraska coach Frank Solich (soh’-lich) says the Huskers have tried toprepare for the crowd noise at Kinnick stadium.Bobby Newcombe has been named the starting quarterback but Solich expectsEric Crouch to get some action.
A new survey shows fewer Iowa businesses are planning to hire new workers. “Manpower’s” survey of businesses in a dozen Iowa cities found 29 percentplan to hire new workers in the last quarter of the year, while 10 percentplan job cuts. That’s down from the kinds of Iowa business expansionsplanned last year according to Manpower spokesman Michael Lynch.Lynch says the Iowa labor market is so tight, some businesses have given upon trying to find new workers.Businesses in Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City,Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Ottumwa, the Quad Cities, Sioux Cityand Waterloo were surveyed.
The Ringgold County Sheriff says an autopsy found NO foul play in the deathof a Clearfield man. 46-year-old Lyle Leonard had been missing for morethan a month when his body was found Monday east of Mount Ayr alongside Highway Two. Ringgold County Sheriff Bob Bennett says the medical examinerruled Leonard died of possible alcohol poisoning and heat exposure. Bennettsays Leonard’s wallett and other possessions were found on his bodyuntouched. There was speculation that a couple with Leonard on the night hedisappeared may have been involved in Leonard’s death. Bennett says they ARENOT suspects.Bennett says things could’ve been wrapped up sooner, but an early search justmissed finding Leonard’s body.Bennett says the discovery of the body and the autopsy results should closethe case.
The University of Iowa has won a 300-thousand dollar federal grant to helppart of the former Soviet Union become a functioning democracy. U-of-Ipolitical science professor Vicki Hesli says a partnership has been formedto exchange U-of-I educators with Ukrainian educators.Hesli says one goal of the partnership is to help the Ukraine become athriving, full democracy. She and at least seven of her colleagues from theU-of-I Law, Education and Business schools will be going to live and teachoverseas off-and-on for up to three years.Helsi says the Ukranian university officials could have chosen any Americanuniversity to link up with to get this type of instruction, but they chosethe U-of-I for the honor.While she does speak some Russian, Helsi says it’s fortunate that manypeople in the Ukraine speak English. She says courses U-of-I instructorswill bring to the foreign land include: corporate law, electoral systems,financial budgets and professional ethics.