Iowa’s Secretary of State is urging the state’s teachers to stage “mock caucuses” in their classrooms on January 19th. Rob Berntsen, an aide to the Secretary of State, says it’ll help teach kids about Iowa’s political process.The real Iowa Caucuses are January 24th.One-hundred thousand caucus newspapers have been sent to teachers who lead sixth through tenth grade classes.On January 19th, participating students will be able to cast a vote over the Internet for their favorite presidential candidate.The republican and democrat parties don’t have data on the ages of past caucus participants. In 1998’s general election, just 15 percent of eligible 18 through 24 year olds in Iowa voted.
Archives for November 1999
Iowa-based AccessAir has grounded its planes after nine months of operations and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 will provide the Des Moines airline some protection from creditors while it deals with increasing financial problems. A plan to loan AccessAir 10-million dollars passed the Iowa legislature last year, but failed in the House. House Speaker Brent Siegrist put together a committee to review the idea of helping the airline. He says the news of the AccessAir grounding is disappointing.Siegriest, a republican from Council Bluffs, says the news changes the situation when it comes to AccessAir.Siegriest says affordable airline travel in and out of Iowa is still an issue regardless of what happens to AccessAir.AccessAir officials have not returned calls for comment on their operation.
(Des Moines, IA) Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer Tuesday was joined by a retired pro-football star in attacking an executive order issued by Iowa’s Governor which shields state workers from discrimination based on their “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
Governor Tom Vilsack issued the order in September. Last night, Bauer urged Vilsack, who’s a democrat, to be a “big man” and rescind it.
“The Governor of this great state has made a very big mistake,” Bauer said during a rally, which attracted over 200 people to a Des Moines hotel to voice opposition to the executive order.
Bauer said conduct, like homosexuality, should not be included in anti-discrimination policies. [Read more…]
Des Moines police are investigating the explosion of a pipe bomb in an apartment complex parking lot. Lieutenant Kelly Willis says the device went off about 6 this morning, no one was injured. Two other bombs have been found in the last six weeks, one along aDes Moines bike path and one attached to a car in the suburb of Urbandale. Each bomb has been found on a Tuesday and they’ve been spread out two weeks apart. Willis says they’re trying to determine if the same person made all three devices.The Federal Bureau of Alchol Tobacco and Firearms, Des Moines police and the Urbandale police department have formed a task force to work on the case. He says they’re asking for the public’s help in finding the person responsible.Willis says they’re lucky no one has been injured.The A-T-F is offering a five-thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest in the first bombing.
The Superintendant of Iowa Credit Unions says all of Iowa’s 1999 state-chartered institutions are ready for the year 2000. Jim Forney says it’s been a long process.The announcement by the state officials overseeing credit unions follows the same proclamation for the state’s banks.Forney says if you have money in an Iowa credit union, you have no Y2K worries.Forney says the state will continue monitoring credit unions throughout the rest of this year to see that there aren’t any new problems crop up.
A delegation of Iowans is in Seattle as World Trade Organization talks opened this morning — with a deeply divided agenda. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack told reporters in a conference call this morning he’s already met with several other governors and U-S Ag Secretary Dan Glickman on ag issues.Vilsack says he and the other governors are going to push the nation’s top negotiators to bring agricultural issues to the forefront of the W-T-O talks.Since biotechnology has been under such fire lately, Vilsack says he’ll lobby for some type of system to be set up that’d see accurate information and sound science used to educate the global consumer about G-M-O or genetically-modified organisms.Tens of thousands of demonstrators are lining the streets but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the protestors’ so-called Battle of Seattle isn’t a big deal.Grassley says he doesn’t expect the demonstrations on a range of issues from the environment to agricultural subsidies will have any influence over the W-T-O delegates.Iowa exports nearly four-billion dollars a year in agricultural products, ranking us second only to California. Grassley says one of America’s closest allies in military and political venues is becoming our biggest foe on ag trade issues.Grassley wants to see the immediate elimination of all export subsidies. Other Iowans at the W-T-O talks include: Senator Tom Harkin, Ag Secretary Patty Judge & Congressmen Leonard Boswell, Jim Nussle & Tom Latham.
The Iowa Department of Transportation says the number of fatal car accidents was down over the Thanksgiving holiday. D-O-T spokesman Scott Falb says they begin tracking accidents at 6 pm the Wedenesday before Thanksgiving.There were two fatalities this year compared to three each of the past two years and a ten year average of six. Falb says the numbers this year are unusual in that good weather usually leads to more accidents. He says one concern is the number of accidents on Wednesday in the period before 6 pm. Falb says three out of the last five years there’ve been as many fatalities Wednesday before 6 pm as there’ve been during the entire holiday period.Falb says the number of fatalities this year is ahead of last year.Through October there are 19 more fatal accidents when compared to last year. Falb says there’ve been 392 deaths on Iowa roadways through October.
The Iowa State women open their home season tonight when they host Northwestern. The Cyclones are 2-1 after splitting two games on the west coast and coach Bill Fennelly says his team is looking forward to the home opener.Fennelly says Northwestern has an experienced team.
Authorities say three likely meth-makers are jailed in northeastern Iowa. Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies arrested three men Monday after reports of someone trying to steal anhydrous ammonia from the AMPI plant near Strawberry Point. 25-year-old Shane Heins and 23-year-old Jason Shupbach, both of Oelwein, and 28-year-old Steven Jones of Independence are charged.
The Iowa Hawkeyes visit Maryland tonight in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Hawkeyes are 2-2 after a loss at Creighton and coach Steve Alford says the Terrapins provide a number of challenges.Maryland has been very good on the boards and Alford says that will be a problem for his team.