In women’s’ basketball action tonight, Drake is at home against Southern Illinois. Drake has won seven straight games and coach Lisa Stone says her team has gained momentum.Stone says they are focused on the stretch run of the regular season but feel good about their chances of gaining an N-C-A-A at-large berth if needed.Stone says a tough non-conference schedule will be a benefit in winning that bid. Drake trails Creighton by one-game in the Valley race. The Northern Iowa women look for a positive end to the regular season with a couple of home games this week beginning with tonight’s matchup with Wichita State. U-N-I has dropped six straight games to fall to 7-9 in the Missouri Valley and U-N-I coach Tony Dicecco is hoping for a late spark to get his team back on the winning track.Dicecco says turnovers have been costly and for now the Panthers will change their style of play. He says they’ve tried to up the tempo of their game.
Archives for February 2002
The Buena Vista men will open the N-C-A-A division three tournament at home Saturday night. The Beavers have a first round bye and will host the winner of tonight’s game between Edgewood and Gustavus Adolphus. Buena Vista coach Brian Van Haaften says point guard play has improved throughout the season and his team is peaking at the right time. Van Haaften says it is a team with good leadership from its six seniors.Van Haaften says his team has built momentum and would like to maintain it.
The teenage mother of “Baby Chelsea” was sentenced today in Tama County court. The Tama County teen, was charged with murder in strangling her newborn daughter last winter, but pled guilty to lesser charges last month, including involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. 18-year-old Nichole Plum of Chelsea was given a two-year sentence on one charge and a 10-year sentence on the other, with both to be served at the same time.
Much like with computers, it seems after you buy a cellular phone, a better model comes out the following week. Instead of throwing out your out-dated cell phone, a chain of wireless stores in Iowa is collecting them, with the proceeds going to charity.Midwest Wireless spokesperson Shelly John, who works in the Grinnell office. says the “Phones for Funds” program is now underway, where those old phones are being collected in bulk. They’ll then be sold to companies that purchase them in bulk.While Goodwill Industries is the benefactor for the Grinnell store, John says many other charities will benefit from the program in each Iowa city that has one of the outlet stores. The program will run through February of next year.
Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores reported an increase in sales and profits for the third quarter of their fiscal year that ended in January. Sales were up eight-point-eight percent, and gross profit increased just over five percent. Casey’s Chief Financial Officer Jim Shaffer says gas sales have increased as prices stabilized.The cost of gas had been unstable, but stabilized during the third quarter. Shaffer says the profit made on the sale of groceries and other items inside the store was off about three percent from a year ago.He says they’re reviewing the margins on cigarettes, beer and pop to see if stores overreacted to the downturn in business last year by emphasizing sales over profits. Shaffer says a drop in cheese prices help improve the profits in the sale of prepared foods. Casey’s has stores in nine midwestern states.
Net profits were up more than 20-percent in the fiscal year just ended for Farm Credit Services of America. Controller Mike Verzal says the farm lender deals with agricultural clients in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Credit insurance services including long-term real estate and short-term production loans, leases and crop insurance. That was a particularly profitable area, as Verzal confirms premiums for that crop insurance rose by 35-percent. Farm Credit loans totaled six billion dollars. Verzal says a boost came from the repeated cuts in interest rates last year.They’ve specifically targeted that area so help farmers manage risk. Farm Credit loans totaled six billion dollars, with net interest income of 154-million, up more than eighteen percent from 2000. Verzal says a boost came from the repeated cuts in interest rates last year.Seeing a reduction in market “rates of interest” let them pass lower rates along to customers, which made loans more appealing. While other farm-credit lenders wait for customers to come to their offices, Verzal says Farm Credit Services of America goes out to meet clients, and he anticipates that kind of strategy will bring the company another good year.The “pipeline of loans” is still strong. The company reports that its number of customers grew by nine percent, to nearly 50-thousand last year.
A key legislator wants to close the door on applications for large-scale livestock confinements filed at the last minute to avoid proposed state regulations. Senator Republican Leader Stewart Iverson of Dows leads a dozen lawmakers meeting privately to develop legislation that’d establish new state rules for livestock operations. He says he’s going to ask the committee to consider that anyone who has applied for a permit after the 1st of January come under the new regulations.Iverson says the group will likely decide the state should spent a half million dollars installing air monitoring equipment near livestock confinements. State environmental regulators are discussing the idea of establishing air quality regulations for livestock operations. Iverson says legislators won’t enter into the controversy over a Cerro Gordo county ordinance which establishes health standards that would prohibit livestock confinements in certain areas of the county. Iverson says the courts will decide that issue.
Two bills which provide state tax incentives to those who invest in high-risk businesses are now law. Governor Tom Vilsack signed the legislation into law this morning. Vilsack says Iowa has been a good place to do business, and he says these bills make it even better. The bill signing ceremony was staged in a high-tech telecommunications company’s office in a Des Moines suburb. Governor Vilsack doesn’t sound as if he’s inclined to outlaw amateur extreme fighting bouts. Eight legislators went to fight night at a Des Moines bar last night on a “fact-finding mission” as a bill proposes to ban the amateur sport. Vilsack says he isn’t armed with any facts. Vilsack says generally speaking, the less government interferes, the better… unless extreme fighting presents some danger to those who compete or watch.
Two bills focusing on nursing homes are drawing the ire of Iowa’s largest senior citizens group. The A-A-R-P is asking lawmakers to vote down a bill that would allow nursing homes to keep internal investigations and quality checks secret from the public. Betty Fitkin is a resident advocate at a Cedar Falls nursing home. She says the move would hide bad care. Fitkin says it wouldn’t help them protect the rights of nursing home residents.Iowa Trial Lawyers Association V-P Bruce Braley of Waterloo says his group’s staunchly opposed to the idea, too. He says it’s a secrecy bill, not a patient safety bill.Another bill that’s drawing fire would bar the state from posting the names of nursing homes that’re under investigation for abuses on its nursing home watch-dog website. The bill says nursing homes could only be listed after the home’s exhausted all its appeals of citations, fines or criminal convictions.
When Deere and Company officials met with stockholders yesterday in Moline, Illinois, they had an unhappy customer to deal with. It was the fifth appearance at the annual meeting for Iowa farmer Melroy Buhr of Elma, who owns a defective Deere hay baler and one share of company stock. Buhr won a suit against Deere a few years ago and the company has tried to give him a $30,000 check. But he wants a new baler instead. At the yesterday1s meeting, Buhr proposed that Deere form an overview committee to deal with inadequate employees. He says they are costing stockholders money. Buhr’s proposal was voted down, but Deere chairman Robert Lane says herealizes not all Deere products are perfect. Buhr says stockholders should get in line for some of the $1 million the John Deere Classic golf tournament has contributed to charity.