Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling for a federal investigation of the U-S Army Corps of Engineers. Reports say there is significant evidence the Corps broke the law, wasted millions of dollars & doctored the numbers in a study showing the need to broaden the Upper Mississippi River’s lock & dam system. The study on proposed work on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers cost the taxpayers 58-million dollars. Grassley says he’s not sure the Department of Defense would do a good job investigating the case. He wants the General Accounting Office, or G-A-O, to look into the allegations against the Corps of Engineers.The Corps of Engineers has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and manipulation, charges brought by a federal investigator. That investigator says there is a great deal of evidence the Corps tried to bury independent reports that didn’t support more construction of locks and dams.
Archives for February 2000
As the population in some of Iowa’s rural areas grows more scarce, counties are diverting road maintenence resources away from the “road less traveled.” The poet Robert Frost today would find it difficult to take the less traveled road in some rural areas of Iowa where counties have stopped regular maintenance on stretches of roadway which do not pass a rural residence. Dubuque County Engineer Mark Jobgen, president of the Iowa County Engineers Association, says it’s all about money. He says counties need to trim their budgets and taking care of those roads becomes less of a priority.Jobgen says a few counties even go so far as to permanently close a section of road and let property owners re-claim it.County engineers maintain about 90-thousand miles of roadway in Iowa — and while some roads are being closed, others are being built and re-surfaced as housing tracts open in rural areas near a growing city.
Iowa’s most of the way through a very dry winter which some state officials fear will lead to a dry spring — and a variety of problems. Assistant State Fire Marshal George Howe fears brush fires will again be widespread in Iowa in the coming months.Iowa still needs a considerable amount of moisture to prevent a repeat of last fall’s extremely dry conditions which led to countless field and grass fires. There may be some rain in the state later today — and Howe says he’s hoping for several good soakings in the coming weeks.Howe says as many as 88 counties were under a burn ban late last year.
The Drake Bulldogs fell in overtime to Illinois State on the road in Valley play last night. Illinois State rallied from 12 points down to tie the game at the end of regulation. Drake missed a three-pointer as the overtime period ended to fall 90-88. Drake is now 4-14 in the conference and 10-17 overall.
Northern Iowa downed Wichita State 81-68 in Missouri Valley conference play last night. Panther Coach Sam Weaver says things came together for his team.Robbie Sieverding led the Panthers with 20 points. Weaver says the 15 points scored by Tyler Peterson were welcome.Kelvin Hill was the only other Panther in double with 15 points. Weaver says the team played well defensively and that led to the good offensive performance.UNI is now 11-15 overall and 6-12 in the conference.
Iowa State University forward Marcus Fizer is the Big Twelve player of the week after leading ISU to wins over Texas and Oklahoma State. Fizer scored 64 points in the two games to lead the Cyclones into sole possession of first place in the conference. Head Coach Larry Eustachy says the play of Fizer has been the difference so far down the stretch.With reserve Paul Shirley hurt, Eustachy says if the team wants to go anywhere in postseason play, they will need the help of Martin Rancik and other bench players. ISU’s two final games are on the road against Texas Tech and Baylor. Eustachy says they will be extremely tough games. Iowa State moved up from 18th to 14th in the latest ESPN/Coaches basketball poll.
This is February 29th, a date that only appears on our calendars once every four years. For expectant mothers, giving birth today can be somewhat of a blessing and a curse for the child — and there’ll be plenty of “leap babies” born today too.Sue Gehlsen is Maternity Center manager at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. She says the hospital averages nine or ten deliveries every day. Gehlsen says parents of babies born today will have to make some choices once their little one gets a few years older.Gehlsen says it wouldn’t be so horrible to not have a birth date every year as the event would still be celebrated, just not on the exact date.A person born on February 29th who is 80 chronological years old has actually only seen 20 birthdays.
Republicans in the legislature have their own plan to spend the 55-Million dollars tobacco companies will pay the state this year. Governor Vilsack wants to spend all the money, now, whereas Republicans want to set aside nine million dollars in a savings account. Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson wants the extra dough in case cigarette-makers go bankrupt and quit sending Iowa the cash.Vilsack proposes expanding the number of needy Iowans who qualify for Medicaid. Republicans plan, instead, to raise the amount doctors, hospitals and other health care institutions are paid for the care they provide toMedicare and Medicaid patients. Representative Dave Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, is the architect of the plan.Heaton says Republicans hope hospitals and other health care institutions use the higher government payments to boost staff pay.G-O-P lawmakers also plan to spend almost 10-million dollars on anti-smoking programs — but it all would be aimed at kids, according to Heaton. He says it’s more important to target kids now and get to adults later.Governor Vilsack says his primary goal for the tobacco money is to help more poor Iowans gain access to health care by using ALL of the tobacco settlement dollars now.Iowa is to get a total of one-point-seven Billion dollars once all the tobacco settlement money is paid.
U-S Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman has called for a vote by the pork industry on whether the mandatory pork check-off should continue. Under the check-off, hog farmers pay 45 cents on every one-hundred dollars worth of pork they sell. The money is used to promote the industry. Marshall County farmer Larry Ginter is chairman of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, a group that collected signatures on petitions required to get the check-off vote. Ginter, who farms near Rhodes, says the check-off dollars have benefited large operations and not done enough for family farmers.He says he’s not sure how the vote may turn out.Ag Secretary Glickman has called for the vote to be held as soon as possible.
The Northern Iowa women snapped a 25-game losing streak to Southwest Missouri State by upending the Valley leading Lady Bears 75-67. Senior forward Allison Starr led the way by pouring in 26-points while freshman Katie Miller had 24. Starr says the Panthers made the key plays down the stretch.