Special activities are planned September 11th at the State Historical Building for what organizers are calling “American Spirit Day.” Sarah Oltrogge of the State Historical Society says the purpose of the day is to commemorate the events of a year ago and celebrate the feelings of patriotism and the new sense of community that have been an outgrowth of the attacks. Oltrogge says the planned events will remind folks of what they thought and felt the day of the terrorist attacks. Free events are scheduled from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on September 11th. Several plays will be performed throughout the day and students will gather to create a collage on a banner that’ll be carried in an evening parade through downtown Des Moines.
Archives for August 2002
Northwest Iowans can check out sculpture, photography, jewelry and all sorts of other artwork at this weekend’s annual ArtSplash Festival in Sioux City. Fest coordinator Candy Gaskill, at the Sioux City Art Center, says this promises to be the biggest show yet. In addition to 96 artists from 18 states, there will be 20 hands-on art projects for kids and adults — ranging from spin-art t-shirts and sun visors for the kids to pottery and basket-weaving for adults. Gaskill says all sorts of art will be on display and on sale. While everyone has a different perception of what art is, Gaskill says the prices are designed to appeal to everyone’s tastes. The festival along the Missouri riverfront runs through tomorrow. For more information, surf to “www.siouxcityartcenter.com”
It’s back to the old West in Webster County today as the 65th annual Dayton Rodeo gets underway. Leonard Anderson, chairman of the rodeo, says the first show begins tonight at 7. Anderson says competitors from across the nation come to town looking to win cash prizes. Prizes last year ranged from 450 to 500 dollars, but he says that all depends on the number of entries. He says there’ll be a special feature this year. Representatives from the Ogalalla-Lakota-Sioux tribe will put on shows and answer questions. The Rodeo is a sanctioned event and cowboys will get points toward the grand championship on Monday.
A company that manages health insurance programs will close an office and move its work to Iowa. Seabury and Smith will close its St Louis, Missouri, office putting 200 workers out of a job. The company handles administration of health insurance plans, and its parent corporation, Marsh and McLennan, says it suffered big losses from insurance claims that came out of the terrorist attacks last September 11th. The claims-processing work of the St Louis office will be handled by the company’s other center in West Des Moines, but Monica Green, a spokeswoman here, says no new or relocated jobs will be moved to the Iowa office, and the current staff will handle the expanded workload.
The region’s first death from West Nile Virus has been recorded. A 69-year-old man who died in Lincoln, Nebraska, a week ago was suffering from West Nile, health officials confirmed Friday. It was the first known case of the disease in Lancaster county, and only the fifth in the state of Nebraska. Four other people, in the Grand Island area, were diagnosed with West Nile after going to emergency rooms with what they thought were symptoms of severe flu, but they’ve all recovered. Iowa’s only human case was a man who also thought he had the flu, with fever, muscle aches and splitting headaches. He’d recovered a couple weeks before state health officials this week confirmed it’s our first and so far ONLY case of the mosquito-borne disease in a person.
A southeast Iowa community may lose millions of state dollars for a civic project unless its mayor takes swift action. Wapello County District Court is being asked to require Ottumwa Mayor Van Gates to sign a contract with Vision Iowa. It’d bring the city 7-point-5 million dollars for a 20-million dollar special events center. Gates refuses to sign the contract saying a resolution, not a motion, was required for him to sign it. A hearing on the petition will be held September 23rd.
Residents and students in a small northeast Iowa school district get a thrill when they see Governor Tom Vilsack wear a particular hat. Vilsack dons a Turkey Valley baseball cap, as it has the initials T.V. on it, when he goes on his annual summer walking tour of small town Iowa. Ken Winter is principal at Turkey Valley high school. Winter says Vilsack was given a Turkey Valley cap a couple of years ago when the Governor took one of his “walks” through small town Iowa. Winter says the local folks keep an eye out for the cap when they see Vilsack in the news. It’s a black cap, with a red bill. The T.V. is in white script. Vilsack gets comments and questions about the hat when he wears it. The Governor wore it last week as he walked through small towns in northeast Iowa. Turkey Valley has about 600 students in K-through-12 and is a consolidated district in the southwest corner of Winneshiek County, with a high school building in Jackson Junction.
The University of Iowa Medical Center held a memorial service Friday. Darrel Wilkins, director of the University’s “Deeded Body Program,” says the memorial service is to honor all body donors whose cadavers were used in teaching and research. Some of the bodies have already been sent back to families, but this event the final closure for all the families. Wilkins says even when someone donates their body to the University med school, it doesn’t prevent their family from holding any service it chooses. A family can hold a funeral before the body’s taken to the school, and afterward, when the university’s done with it, the school will cremate it and give the ashes to the family, or keep the remains for burial in the annual memorial service. For more information on the University’s Deeded Body Program, see www.anatomy.uiowa.edu
Labor Day means rock-and-roll to hundreds of visitors in northwest Iowa. The Iowa Rock-n-Roll Music Association is holding its annual holiday weekend bash at Arnold’s Park at Lake Okoboji. The Association’s Steve Brown says several bands will be added to the Iowa Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday night. Inductees include “The Bands Of Gold” from Dubuque, “Seven Sons” from Sioux City, “The Fabulous Morticians” from Lamoni, “The Spectacle” from LeMars and “Westminst’r” from Fort Dodge. Brown explains bands and individuals can become part of the Iowa Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Other inductees include the Skyline Ballroom in Estherville and the Starline Ballroom in Carroll. In addition to all the live rock-n-roll music, a variety of events are underway today through Monday. Brown says one popular event is the auction of musical memorabilia, which includes autographed guitar pick guards. Other artists contributing memorabilia include Don McLean, ZZ Top, Bobby Vee, the Beach Boys, Brian Setzer, The Turtles, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Jerry Lee Lewis. For more information, surf to “www.iowarocknroll.com”.
Campgrounds began filling up late this week as Iowans looked to take advantage of the great outdoors on this last holiday weekend of the summer. Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mick Klemesrud (KLEM’-uhs-rood) says it unofficially looks like more people have taken the Winnebagos and Airstreams out this summer. He says the final numbers won’t be in until October, but in the time he’s spent camping, it looks like the numbers will be up. Klemesrud says if you’re still heading out, you might want to take some campfire fuel. There’s been a whole summer of camping, so firewood supplies at many state parks may be getting low. He says the bug repellent is especially important with the threat of mosquitoes and the West Nile virus. He doesn’t believe any of the parks are sprayed for mosquitoes. Klemesrud asks everyone to be good stewards of Iowa’s outdoor areas. He says you should leave the campground the way you would like to find it. Klemesrud says the D-N-R is posting information on avoiding mosquito bites and the West Nile Virus at campgrounds