An outbreak of syphilis has Scott County health officials a bit worried. The director of the Scott County Health Department says they’ve had six cases of the sexually-transmitted disease reported so far this year compared to only seven cases all last year. Dr. Louis Katz says they’ve traced the outbreak to a number of 20 and 30 year olds. Katz is concerned because it takes so long for the syphilis symptoms to surface. He is trying to get anyone who thinks they may be infected to get tested. Katz says the tests are confidential.The disease can be treated with penicillin.
Archives for March 2000
A local-access cable T-V show in eastern Iowa is attracting national attention.There was so much negativity surrounding the Fox network’s “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” it was cancelled after one episode, but the Iowa City version is much more down-to-earth & may soon be featured on A-B-C’s “Good Morning America.” This production is called “Who Wants to Marry a Short, Middle Aged, Cranky Guy with No Money?” The first edition aired in Iowa City featured five female contestants who all wore parkas so their bodies were hidden. Each was asked a series of Trivial Pursuit-style questions and the 52-year-old bachelor chose his winning bride. As it turned out though, he and the woman took the free dinner certificate but chose not to tie the knot.
A high-ranking official from Great Britain says Iowa and England have a lot of untapped trade opportunities, but he says Americans are just starting to have the same reservations about genetically-modified food that the Brits have had for years. M.T. Murray, Her Majesty’s Deputy Consul-General, is based in Chicago and visited Iowa’s Governor this week.Many Europeans refuse to buy American food that’s genetically-modified. Murray says the British have reason to be concerned about food safety with the past incidents such as mad cow disease.Murray often chooses organic foods when he’s shopping here. Murray hopes to return to Iowa in September for a two-day meeting with Iowa economic development officials to explore new trade ties with the state.Murray says the U-S and U-K are free-trading nations, so the possibilities are limitless.
A second round of e-mail threats has hit the University of Iowa.Investigators are trying to track down the origin of the e-mails which were sent to students and faculty in the College of Dentistry. They threaten property damage & the use of firearms if all minority students are not removed from campus. One U-of-I student says he’s trying to go about his usual life.E-mails on Tuesday hinted at violence but the messages sent last night said students should not only fear for their future careers, but their lives. One student, who asked to remain anonymous, says every student is handling the threat in their own way.He says the content of the messages makes it clear someone out there is disturbed.Investigators have worked through the night trying to trace the author or authors of the e-mails. The messages were reportedly sent using “Excite-dot-com” but it’s still unclear where they came from.
In the U-S Hockey League playoffs tonight, the Des Moines Buccaneers look to take a commanding lead in their best-of-five opening round series with Omaha when they host the Lancers. The Bucs opened the series with a 2-1 victory at Omaha on Wednesday night. Des Moines coach Tom Carroll.says the key against Omaha is to limit their power play opportunities.Carroll says while the Bucs have a chance to take command tonight, Omaha has a chance to regain control.
The Iowa Barnstormers open exhibition play tonight in the UNI-Dome when they play the Buffalo Destroyers. The Barnstormers have an experienced team but coach John Gregory says the exhibition season gives them a chance to evaluate some of the new players.Gregory says they are looking forward to playing in Cedar Falls. He says the UNI-Dome would be the perfect place to have an annual game.Iowa quarterback Aaron Garcia says the exhibition season is when a team builds depth. He hopes all of the players are ready to play and can get into the game and get some experience in live action.
A statewide campaign is being launched today to encourage Iowans to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s being launched by a new coalition of grocery stores, farmers, health organizations and state agencies. Brendan Comito is president of the “Five A Day Coalition of Iowa.”Comito wants people to eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. A survey finds most Iowans eat an average of two-and-a-half servings a day, slightly below the national average of three servings. Comito says eating produce can help prevent cancer and other diseases.The “Five A Day Coalition of Iowa” is starting educational programs in schools today in addition to launching a statewide billboard campaign. It’s entitled “Pick a Better Snack” and will feature slogans like: “Wash, Bite and Eat” next to a big yellow banana. He says most produce doesn’t require any preparation, you just peel it and eat it.The coalition includes: four grocery chains, the I-S-U Extension, the Iowa Departments of Agriculture and Public Health, the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, the Food Bank of Iowa and the American Cancer Society.
Republican legislators are exploring a way to get investors to bear the risk if tobacco companies fail to pay the state. Cigarette-makers are to pay the state just under two-Billion dollars over the next 25 years as part of the legal settlement with Iowa. House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City says there’s a way the state could shop around for investors in the bond market.Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill which spells out how the state will spend the 55-million dollars tobacco companies will pay this coming year as part of that legal settlement.
Iowa teenagers will likely face higher fines if they’re caught with cigarettes or trying to buy a pack, but they won’t lose their drivers license. The Iowa House has approved a bill which doubles the fines for minors who possess or try to buy cigarettes. And for the first time, the clerks who sell tobacco to minors would face a fine, too. Representative David Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, supported the bill. He says the state must send a message that violators will face swift, sure and certain punishment.House members stripped the provision in the Senate-passed bill which would have taken drivers licenses away from teens caught trying to buy cigs a third time. Kids caught smoking would be forced to perform community service, though. Representative Keith Kreiman, a democrat from Bloomfield, supported the bill. He says it may keep some kids from buying cigarettes.Representative Galen Davis, a republican from Ottumwa, doubts few police officers will arrest kids for the crime of smoking or buying smokes.Representative John Connors, a Des Moines democrat, says it’s time to make cigarettes and other tobacco products illegal. He says that’s the way they’ll people to quit smoking.Senate Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says it’s likely the Senate will endorse the House changes to the bill and send it to Governor Vilsack for his approval.
The Iowa Utilities Board is pushing back the start date for the new 6-4-1 area code. “Voluntary” use is being moved from June 1st to July 9th. “Required” use had been scheduled to start September 1st, but Iowans won’t be forced to use the new area code ’til December 3rd. Utilities Board spokesman Chuck Seel says businesses now have more time to prepare for the change.Seel says there’s a lot of work involved for some companies to make the change.One other change will move the 6-4-1 border to keep Prairie City in the 5-1-5 exchange. Seel says it likely won’t make others happy who requested that they be allowed to stay, too. But, he says Prairie City made a good case before the board about the economic impact of the change.The new code is being carved out of the current 5-1-5 area code to meet an increasing demand for new numbers for cell phones, computers and fax machines. Seel says both the 5-1-5 code and the new 6-4-1 code are projected to run out of numbers in about eight years. He says there are several variables which could change that projection, such as a ruling by the FCC that changes the way phone numbers are allocated.Seel says a telephone industry committee is preparing an education campaign to help people prepare for their new area code.