Despite steady rain there were several outstanding rounds at the final day of the girls state golf meet at the Jester Park course near Granger. Christi Athas of Eldora-New Providence had the lowest score of the tournament in earning medallist honors in class 1A. Athas fired a second round 74 for a two-day total of one-51. She says the girl she played with pushed her to do better as she kept sinking birdie putts. Grinnell won the class 2A team title. It was the third team crown for the Tigers and long-time coach Arvilla Altemeir who says each championship is a “great one.”
Archives for May 2001
After claiming the class 3A state title last year the Fort Madison baseball team opened the season top ranked and is 6-2 in the early going. Coach Dick Burch likes the potential of this team despite losing several members of the pitching staff from the title team. Burch says a difficult schedule last year was a plus for his team in the post season and several Mississippi Athletic Conference schools are on the schedule, again. He says playing 4A schools is a big plus.Burch says despite several new faces the pitching staff is deep and should be a strength. He says the defense is solid despite having several newcomers in the infield.
Customers of Interstate Power Company are getting good news today. Alliant’s Karmen Wilhelm says beginning June 1st, customer bills will be lower.Wilhelm says a temporary rate hike has ended, lowering the bills. The cost-recovery increase had been granted for the company’s energy-efficiency program expenses from 1993 to 1995.Wilhelm admits many people may not notice the reduction in their bills. People who’ll benefit from the changes live in parts of Iowa served by Interstate Power Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.
There are more than just “76 Trombones” in Mason City for tonight’s start of the North Iowa Band Festival. The 63rd annual fest is gathering 25 community and high school bands, 24 of them from Iowa and one from Minnesota. Festival director Vance Baird says there are seperate concerts every night and through the weekend.The music ranges from jazz to rock and roll and from blues to country. Besides the tunes, other family entertainment includes a craft show, a car show, a carnival and a Saturday parade. Baird says one highlight is Friday night’s concert by Shirley Jones, who performed in the movie version of “The Music Man” by Mason City native Meredith Willson.Tonight’s opening concert features french horn soloist Kristian Davidson, who plays in the U-S Marine Corps Band. For more information on the festival which runs through Sunday, call 800 423-5724.
A woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a 1998 car wreck gets a new trial. Pamela Christianson’s vehicle collided head-on with another car in northeast Iowa’s Howard County, killing that other driver just before two o’clock in the morning. A sheriff’s deputy had her submit to a blood alcohol test, and she was over the legal limit. A couple of hours later, a trooper on the scene determined Christianson’s car was on the wrong side of the highway, there had been no attempt to stop before the crash and he smelled alcohol in her car. The court ruled the alcohol test was inadmissible because it was conducted before the trooper amassed evidence that alcohol consumption might have been a cause of the crash.
A 16-million dollar proposal to make Clear Lake clear again was unveiled today. Iowa State University professor John Downing worked with natural resources officials to come up with the plan. Downing says the proposal includes extensive improvement of Ventura Marsh west of Clear Lake, and the dredging of a small western portion of the lake.He says those two actions would help reduce the silt and nutrients flowing in from the lakes watershed. He also recommends enforcing a number of other practices to reduce nutrient flow into the watershed. Another part of the plan includes creating islands in the Ventura Marsh.The islands would keep the wind from stirring up sediment, and provide a habitat for animals and fish. Downing says the changes would make the water much clearer, create fewer algae blooms and less of a need to aerate the water. Downing warns that the proposal is not a quick fix for a problem that’s grown over the past 100 years.He says some changes should be visible within five years, but it could take as many as 30 years to get the lake back to where it was a century ago. Downing says they will also have to address the bottom-feeding fish that stir up sediment on the lake floor and restrict the growth of vegetation. The Department of Natural Resources says it will take public comment on proposals for Clear Lake, with the hope of creating an overall cleanup plan in July.
The Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes has lost its bid to keep its mailing lists secret.Iowa’s Attorney General has sued Publishers Clearinghouse, accusing the company of misleading Iowans into thinking their chances of winning would increase if they ordered magazines. Publishers Clearinghouse refused to give the state court its mailing lists, claiming the release would reveal trade secrets. The Iowa Supreme Court doesn’t buy the argument, and has ordered Publishers Clearinghouse to hand over its mailing lists.
The state’s high court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of shooting his wife to death. Gerald Long of Des Moines was convicted of first degree murder five years ago for killing his wife, Jill, but the Supreme Court says he should get a new trial. The reason: a social worker who had talked to Jill Long testified about something the dead woman had told her. The woman told the jury Jill Long said her husband’s brother had been coaching him on what to say to psychiatrists so he could claim to be insane. The justices said that testimony was inadmissible because it attacked the heart of his only defense.
The Iowa Parole Board has voted unanimously to recommend that the Governor commute the life sentence of a Clinton man who shot his wife to death 11 years ago. Shortly after he went to prison, Dennis Fredericksen had a heart attack. Before he was revived, oxygen had been cut off from his brain, and he’s now a quadriplegic who’s in a vegetative state. Parole Board chairman Charles Larson, Senior, says the board is confident Fredericksen’s not faking. He says there is no way he could ever harm anyone again.Larson and the rest of the Parole Board tried to interview Fredericksen this morning and he couldn’t respond. The Governor has 90 days to consider commuting Fredericksen’s life sentence. If Vilsack does approve the commutation, the plan is to put Fredericksen on a waiting list for the Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown, as he is a Vietnam vet. Larson says the state spends three times as much money every year caring for Fredericksen than it would if he were in a regular cell.
Officials in northeast Iowa are trying to keep a manufacturing business, and its 80 jobs, from leaving Oelwein. The owners of “X-L Trailers” say they’re looking for a more modern building for their operation. They currently manufacture large custom trailers in an old railroad building in Oelwein. X-L says they’ve received offers of incentives to re-locate from Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and other Iowa communities. State and local officials are trying to find X-L another building in Oelwein, or in another city in Iowa. The company has been in Oelwein since 1995.