The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending a northeast Iowa countyalmost eight-thousand dollars to help those in need of food or shelter.Tom Stoval is the Director of Operation New View in Dubuque, which will helpgive out the funds. Stovall says agencies across Delaware County areeligible to receive the money. Stovall says the high heating bills have lefta lot of families looking for help. Organizations in Delaware County haveuntil January 10th to apply for the funds.
Archives for December 2000
The incoming leader of a key legislative committee will fight efforts toinstall “touch-screen” voting in Iowa. Representative Janet Metcalf,soon-to-be chair of the House State Government Committee, has severereservations about having Iowans cast their votes by touching boxes oncomputer screens. Metcalf says the focus should be on other technology, likeoptical scanner machines which are computers that read ballots which haveovals filled in by voters, similar to the sheets used by kids taking theIowa Test of Basic Skills.
Iowans who claim English as their second language will soon be able to getfree help with their federal taxes and advice about a type of tax credit.The Legal Services Corporation of Iowa has won a 76-thousand dollar grantfrom the Internal Revenue Service to launch a series of Iowa clinics. VickiPlace is deputy director of the L-S-C of Iowa. (As said above) TheLow-Income Taxpayer Clinics will be held across Iowa to target immigrantsfrom afar, including Vietnamese, Bosnians, Sudanese, Hispanics, Chinese andothers. Place says the Earned Income Tax Credit is an important break.The outreach programs will begin in January. Place explains some of thebenefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income Iowans. The L-S-C ofIowa has offices in the following ten cities: Sioux City, Mason City,Waterloo, Des Moines, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Council Bluffs, IowaCity and Ottumwa. For information about the upcoming clinics and specificdates and locations, call 800 532-1275.
When the legislature convenes in January, two new lawmakers will head thecommittees which craft the budget for the state’s prisons. RepublicanRepresentative Lance Horbach, an insurance agent from Tama, will lead theHouse Committee that’ll tackle prison funding issues. Horbach will meet nextweek with state corrections department officials. The state built three newprisons in the past decade, but the number of prisoners still exceeds the”design capacity” — creating over-crowding. For example, three prisonerswill live in every two-person cell in the new space in Fort Dodge. Horbachis reluctant but willing to consider the idea of building another prison.Senator Jeff Angelo, a republican from Creston, will lead the SenateCommittee that will work on a budget for the state’s prison system.
Iowans pumped a lot of ethanol this year, tens of thousands more gallonsthan last year, according to a study by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.Cassandra Donn is spokeswoman for the board. Donn says the increase fromOctober of 1999 to October of 2000 is about six percent. She says thenumbers are even better in the most recent month in the survey. Ethanolproduction generates more than one-point-seven billion dollars in economicactivity and adds 730-million dollars in value to the state’s corn crop.Donn explains why the board thinks Iowans are buying so much more of thecorn-based fuel. Donn says the message is getting out that ethanol isn’tjust less expensive, but that it’s a cleaner burning, more efficient fuel.She says the renewable fuel can also reduce U-S dependence on foreign oil by100-thousand barrels a day.
Continued bitter cold has forced an Iowa utility to again revise estimatesfor what it’ll cost Iowans to heat their homes this winter. John Ruff isspokesman for Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids. Ruff says natural gas willcost the average customers from 350 to 450 dollars more than in pastwinters. He explains why the prices for the precious home heating fuelcontinue to bound. Ruff says Iowa homeowners can’t seem to get a break.While Iowa’s gotten more snow this month than in any other month on record,it’s also going down as one of the coldest months since 1983.
The Iowa Utilities Board is changing the planned start up for the new 5-6-3 area code that’s being split off the 3-1-9 area code in eastern Iowa. Board spokesman Chuck Seele says phone companies asked for more time to implement the new area code, and the board is responding.
The date to beginuse of 5-6-3 has been moved to March 25 of 2001 and the mandatory use datehas been moved to December 2 of 2001. The permissive use had been set for March 4th and madatory use September 9th. Seele says the board also made some adjustments in the dividing line for the new area code.
The Oran exchange is being move back to 3-1-9, while the Onslow, Mechanicsville and Stanwood exchanges were moved into 5-6-3. Seele outlines how the change will impact some of the major cities. Seele says these are the final changes before the new area code goes into effect. This was an historic year forIowa with its first two new area codes. The other area code change came when part of the 5-1-5 area code in the middle of the state was split into the new 6-4-1 area code.
The Iowa Hawkeyes erased a ten point second half deficit to edge Detroit69-68 last night in the opening round of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu.Detroit had a chance to win the game but Willie Green missed a 15-footjumper prior to the buzzer. Iowa opened by building an early ten pointadvantage but the Titans roared back to take the lead at half.Dean Oliver led Iowa with 18-points but says Green got a great look at whatcould have been the winning basket.
With heavy snow piling up across Iowa, some people are whispering about thepotential for spring flooding. One expert says those fears of flooding areunfounded. Meteorologist Frank Boksa (boak’-sah) at the National WeatherService office in Johnston compares those who’re already spooked aboutflooding to Chicken Little in the nursery rhyme. He assures, snow may befalling, but the sky isn’t. Boksa says many factors will come into play inthe months ahead that effect the possibility of flooding — like how warm itgets — how fast, and how much more snow and rain we get. With the recentdrought, he says this snow will likely melt right into the ground withlittle or no runoff into rivers.
It’s official. This is Iowa’s snowiest month on record. State climatologistHarry Hillaker compiled the numbers this morning from yesterday’s snowstorm. He says it brought Iowa an average of three-point-six inches. Thatputs us up to 24-point-7 inches for a state average snowfall for December,easily beating the previous record from February 1962 by two and a halfinches. Yesterday’s storm brought some areas of eastern Iowa as much as TENinches of snow. This month is also the second coldest December on record.Hillaker says roughly every town from Des Moines south hasn’t seen atemperature above 32-degrees since December 10th. The month is averagingabout 12-degrees below normal. The coldest December in Iowa history was in1983.