It’s said there’s nothing more boring than watching concrete dry, but that’s one of the many things scientists are eagerly doing now at a new research facility at Iowa State University. It’s full name is the Portland Cement Concrete Pavement and Materials Research Laboratory, but it’s being called the P-C-C Center for short. Director Dale Harrington says today’s concrete is great, but there’s always room for improvement in every product.is its director.The P-C-C Center was dedicated Wednesday at I-S-U. The Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Concrete Paving Association donated money to help build the new lab. Harrington says the facility will be the home for innovative research in developing long-lasting, cost-effective, low-maintenance road-building concrete. He says they want to be sure that new materials are compatible with the materials that are in use today.Harrington says they’ll focus on things like the setup time of concrete, as well as the mixing, the processing and the manufacturing of concrete, and its durability through a series of stress analysis tests.He says the average lifespan of a slab of pavement is 30 years.
Archives for October 2002
The two candidates for Congress in Iowa’s second district met in a forum today at the University of Northern Iowa, and Democrat Julie Thomas says the economy’s still moving in the wrong direction. She says we can help by providing infrastructure projects to southeast Iowa, as they’ll build the economy and bring back jobs. Thomas says the economy’s the main reason she decided to enter the campaign, and says president Bush’s one-ponit-three-trillion dollar tax cut should have been targeted at the middle and lower classes, and not the wealthiest Americans. Her opponent, republican Jim Leach, said he doesn’t favor any tax increase, though he might change his position if the U.S. goes to war. Leach says he’s not comfortable with using the military as our main presence in world leadership.He says we should be “up front and out front” with the private sector and that means trade, opening up foreign markets — and Leach says he supported NAFTA and wants to give the president trade promotion authority to increase markets for our products. The Libertarian candidate for the second-district seat, Kevin Litten, says shrinking government and letting private citizens decide how to spend their money would boost the economy.
The state of Iowa, 22 other states and the federal government are joining in a lawsuit that would stop the merger of two satellite TV companies — the Dish Network and DirecTV. Terry Bruns of Estherville, manager of the Iowa Lakes Electrical Co-op, has been an outspoken critic of the proposed merger. Bruns says the potential monopoly would not be good for rural America.Bruns says over half a million Iowans do not have access to cable television, and would be hurt by the merger. Bruns says it’s not just about satellite TV, but about Internet access and getting local TV signals to rural areas which sometimes can’t pull in a signal. He says true competition would be able to provide local channels quicker. Attorney General Tom Miller has been criticized by his Republican opponent, Dave Millage, for joining in such national lawsuits. Miller defends his decision to join this one, saying the state of Iowa helped the Justice Department investigate the case over the past year. The F-C-C recently voted against the merger.
The Drake Bulldogs close out their home season and Pioneer League schedule against the University of San Diego. It will Mark the final home game for a pair of record-setting Bulldogs in quarterback Ira Vandever and receiver Aaron Overton.Drake coach Rob Ash says people in Des Moines are missing the boat if they don’t see these two play. Ash says Vandever and Overton are the two best at their positions he’s ever had. Both teams have explosive offenses and Ash says this has the making of a high scoring game. He says they have one of the best offensive football teams they’ve ever had at Drake, and San Diego has a top offense too.
The house that was the scene of a grisly multiple murder in Sioux City has been sold. The bodies of Letcia Aguilar and her five children were found in the home on Labor Day weekend of 2001. Aguilar’s boyfriend Adam Moss pleaded guilty to killing the six, plus a friend of Aguilar’s at another house. The home was given to the Sioux City Neighborhood Network, an area volunteer group. The house was valued at 40-thousand dollars — but the group put it on the market at 25-thousand. Group chairman Rick Arnold says they accepted an offer of 22-thousand-500. He says with winter setting in, a slow real estate market, and a “stigmatized” property — they felt it was a good offer and closed the sale a week later. While some might want to tear down the house due to its past, Arnold says the new owner plans to use the home.He says they want to use it as a rental property and find a nice young family to move in. The Sioux City Neighborhood Network will use the profits from the sale to buy playground equipment for a park.
The post office in the tiny eastern Iowa town of Langworthy will cancel its last stamp tomorrow after 144 years of service. The Langworthy post office was established in the Jones County town in January of 1858. It was relocated to the home of Bob and Janice Goodyear in 1971, and they have operated the office since then. The Goodyear’s recently announced they’re moving, bringing an end to the post office. The town will be able to keep its zip code. There are 20 post office boxholders, and they’ll have to put up boxes outside their homes and use their 9-11 addresses to continue getting mail.
The U-S Postal Service is putting out a plea to Iowa businesses for the return of purloined mail bins. The white corrugated plastic tubs have built-in handles and Postal Service “Hawkeye District” spokesman Richard Watkins says they vanish from routes in Des Moines alone at the rate of one-hundred a week. He says the Postal Service had to spend about 20-million dollars on the bins last year alone and Watkins says they cost more than three-dollars each. He’s hoping people in Iowa businesses who have appropriated the tubs for holding personnel records, plants, compact discs –or whatever– will give them back. He says there won’t be any “box police” out looking for the boxes. He says they will however pick them up if you set them out for the mail carrier. With the holiday season fast-approaching, Watkins says the bins will be in high demand as mail volume increases radically before year’s end. Watkins says it’s a crime to abscond with the plastic bins. Stickers on the side of the bins make it clear that anyone who takes a bin could face a fine of up to one-thousand dollars and three-years in prison.
Iowa State University’s joined two other institutions in launching a website with the goal of enhancing value-added agriculture. I-S-U’s Agricultural Marketing Resource Center wants the website to be a one-stop-shopping library of information to connect farmers with a wealth of data on how to do more with their produce or livestock. AgMRC spokeswoman Crista Hartsook says the site has 25-hundred links. She says the site can help farmers in a variety of areas — like starting a worm composting operation, an ethanol plant or growing organic beef. Hartsook says the site got 122-thousand visits last month alone. I-S-U, Kansas State and the University of California are collaborating on the Ag Marketing Resource Center website at the address: “www.agmrc.org”.
The race for State Ag Secretary, as you might suspect, features two longtime farmers. Democrat Patty Judge of Albia is seeking a second term as state Ag Secretary. She and her husband ran a cow/calf operation until she was elected Ag Secretary in 1998. Judge used to own a real estate business and was a mediator in dispute between farmers and lenders during the Farm Crisis. Judge was a state Senator for six years, first elected in 1992. She’s being challenged by Republican John Askew, a farmer from Thurman in southwest Iowa who raises white corn and organic alfalfa on 2000 acres. He also owns a small trucking firm and is part-owner of Quality Iowa Maize in Hamburg, which ships food-grade white and yellow corn all over the world. Askew says Judge has failed in the job of being Iowa farmers’ top advocate. Askew says it’s time for more “vision” and not just an agency of “gas pumps and deli scales.” Judge says the number of ethanol plants in Iowa has doubled during her term in office, the biodiesel industry is growing and she’s making do with huge cuts in her agency’s budget. Judge says Iowa agriculture is on the right track, but it’s not a fast process of helping farmers earn more. Both candidates opposed the new livestock regulations which were passed by the Iowa Legislature this spring.
The Speaker of the U-S House campaigned in eastern Iowa Wednesday. House Speaker Dennis Hastert visited Cedar Rapids to campaign for fellow republican Congressman Jim Leach. Hastert is trying to help Leach and help keep his own job as speaker by maintaining the republican’s slim five vote margin in the House. Hastert says Iowa’s Senate race is also key to republicans. He says time and money will go to a dozen close races nationwide, including the Ganske/Harkin Senate race in Iowa.