A suspicious death is being studied in western Iowa. A Missouri Valley man reportedly passed out at a hog roast early Monday. 23-year-old Brent Thomas died at an Omaha hospital. An autopsy was done Tuesday but the results won’t be available for up to two weeks.
Archives for May 2000
An east-central Iowa woman is suing her husband in the deaths of their three sons. The couple’s twin seven-year olds and their ten-year old died when their van went out of control in a snowstorm and ran into a semi. The accident happened in 1998 near Keokuk. Cynthia Rittmer of Mount Vernon says her husband, David, was negligent in his driving and that caused the accident. She’s seeking damages as well as medical costs.
Congressman Jim Nussle formally declared himself a candidate for re-election this morning. Nussle, who’s been in Congress for 10 years, is a republican from Manchester representing northeast Iowa’s second district which stretches from Dubuque to Mason City. Nussle says there’s more work to be done in Washington despite successes in the economy, health care and education.Nussle, who turns 40 next month, is in line to be chairman of the House Budget Committee should republicans retain control of Congress. Nussle says he has to be re-elected first before he can gain the post.Nussle says if he’s re-elected, he’ll have to stage another campaign to become House Budget Committee chair. If he get the chairmanship, he’ll pursue the remaining five federal departments which have accounts that are not open for Congressional review.Nussle made campaign stops today in Dubuque and Waterloo. He’ll visit Mason City at 11:30, then return to Manchester for late afternoon events
Inmates in the Clarinda prison are getting new work. H-and-H Trailer Company plans to open a new factory near the southwest Iowa prison and employ 160 inmates. Clarinda Mayor Frank Snyder says it’s a good idea.Critics of other attempts to use prison labor say such jobs should go to law-abiding citizens. Snyder says there’s not much grumbling in Clarinda.Snyder says the company hasn’t been able to find enough workers because of the county’s low unemployment rate.Prison Warden Mark Lund says the 22-thousand square foot factory will be built at the prison.Lund says it’s the largest effort to employ Iowa prisoners. The plant is to open in September, and inmates will earn up to nine-dollars an hour.Lund says security will as tight as the prison itself.H-and-H must employ at least 45 civilians at its plant in Braddyville in order to continue operations at the Prison.
Officials say Iowans should be prepared for more severe weather today. The storm system that brought at least three tornadoes to central Iowa last night is still parked over the Hawkeye State. Parts of northern Iowa are seeing more heavy rain, high winds and hail this morning. Rick Arkell is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Davenport. He says all of Iowa is in a “threat zone” right now which means there’s a risk of severe weather. Arkell says the zone covers all of Iowa, in addition to parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota.Arkell says the same storm front that brought twisters, hail and up to four inches of rain to parts of central Iowa last night is still hovering, as is the risk for more severe weather.
An Iowa State University professor has combined his love of sports and computers to help ease a major headache for the Big-12 Conference. Tim Van Voorhis has written a computer program that helps with Big-12 scheduling for a number of sports.Van Voorhis is currently working on basketball and baseball schedules for the Southeastern Conference and has heard from other leagues as well.Van Voorhis says his program works around parameters set by each league. For instance in football, the Big-12 wants to keep rivalry games at the end of the season and, in basketball, the availability of arenas for the different schools is an issue.Van Voorhis says his computer program gives a conference a number of different options, then officials will choose the one they want.
While travel between the U-S to Cuba is tightly restricted, an official delegation from Iowa State University has just returned from an agricultural trip to that island nation. I-S-U agronomy professor Matt Liebman says Cubans are thriving despite the U-S embargo. Liebman would like to see more bonds between Cuban and U-S scientists and between agricultural producers. He says both nations could benefit from a relaxation of the political hostilities which would enable more mingling of our cultures’ other aspects.Cuba’s largest city, the capitol of Havana, is home to two-point-two million people. About 160-thousand Havana residents are involved in urban gardening. About six percent of Cuba’s food supply is grown within Havana and some metropolitan neighborhoods produce about a third of their own food.Liebman was part of a group of about a dozen I-S-U faculty, staff and students, as well as two Iowa farmers, who went to Cuba for eight days late this month.
The changing face of business is impacting the way Iowa’s veterinarians are trained. Iowa State University is responding to that change by offering business courses to update current veterinarians. Professor Nolan Hartwig says the courses teach vets how to run their practice like a business.Hartwig says successful veterinarians used to deal with their neighborhood farmers, now they’re dealing with larger companies and need to adapt. He says they need to learn how to set up business plans that let them deal with the future.He says they’ve been moving toward teaching veterinary students to have more business sense. He says the ISU curriculum has more business-related courses than any other school in the country.Hartwig says the business courses can help a veterinarian in many ways. He says learning to delegate business responsibilities to staff makes a veterinarian more efficient in practicing medicine.The university is holding a couple of sessions for current veterinarians today and tomorrow, and then again later in June.
An Iowa strawberry farmer says strawberry season is right around the corner.Bob Furleigh raises strawberries and other produce near Clear Lake. He says they picked a handful of ripe berries last week. This week’s forecast calls for rain, but Furleigh’s hoping for a little sunshine to help make the ‘berries ripe for the picking. He says the sunshine makes them form up.Furleigh says so far, his plants have stood the season well. However, he admits to a farmer’s pessimism that something could happen to damage the crop. He says last year they got a hailstorm right when his tomatoes were ripening and they had to throw away 30 to 40 bushels.Furleigh raises other crops like sweet corn, squash and pumpkins.
State officials today announced a new airline connection between Des Moines and Memphis, Tennessee. Northwest Airlines Vice President Jim Cron says they’re expanding flights to several cities, including Des Moines.They’re adding 48 new daily flights and Des Moines will be the only new northern city with new non-stop service in the expansion. The flight to Des Moines will leave in the mornng and return in the evening. Cron says the new route will help Iowans who’re traveling south. He says one of the company’s biggest complaints is that they have to fly north to Minneapolis before flying south.Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson says the new route is one step in bringing more competitive airline service to Iowa.Cron says if the Memphis flight proves to be popular, a second flight may be added out of Des Moines and later a flight out of Cedar Rapids.