The Grinnell College women’s basketball team will try to accomplish something it has not done in several years: win two games in a season. The Pioneers broke a nearly two year losing streak with a victory over Alverno College of Wisconsin and will try for a second victory today against North Park College in Illinois.First-year coach Andy Hamilton hopes his team shows improvement, and they want to continue improving their shooting. Hamilton says the Pioneers will need to overcome a size disadvantage as they’ll go against two big centers.
Archives for November 2002
It’s not only the holiday season, but the charity season as folks raise money for all sorts of causes, especially food and clothing drives for the poor. The state’s utilities also collect money to help the poor pay their heating bills, and state officials say 500- and 700-thousand dollars is collected annually in Iowa for the cause through customer contributions on utility bills. Jerry McKim of the state’s Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program says the help’s greatly appreciated by those who qualify, and he urges those who haven’t checked off on the voluntary contribution on the utility bill to do so. McKim says Iowa law requires all heat and electric utilities to advertise the contribution program twice a year. The state’s two largest utilities — MidAmerican and Alliant — distribute the charity money to low-income Iowans through the state’s Community Action Agencies which also administer government charity to help poor Iowans pay their heat and electric bills.
Just because Iowa is far from the coasts and contains no big cities, residents of the Hawkeye State are -not- immune from killer diseases like AIDS. Tomorrow (Sunday) is World AIDS Day. Sharon Miller is the HIV/AIDS coordinator at the American Red Cross’ Central Iowa chapter. Miller says she’d like to see a couple of things accomplished tomorrow, to fight discrimination and to more aggressively promote HIV and AIDS awareness. Miller says the number of AIDS cases is rising in Iowa and people need to be aware.Two high-profile celebrities will be in Iowa over the next few days promoting AIDS awareness. Bono , the singer for the rock band U-2, will be in Iowa City on Monday while former L-A Lakers star “Magic” Johnson will be in Des Moines on Tuesday.
Cedar Rapids police this week are asking for the public’s help in nabbing a shopper who’s helping herself to the wallets of others. More than one unhappy customer’s called police to say a wallet or purse was taken while they were in the store, and police officer Jeffrey Ilton says they have security video of the suspect, following one theft that resulted in a shopping spree with the stolen plastic. The suspect got hold of a woman’s billfold and he says within one hour she’d charged more than $800 in merchandise. Officer Ilton says you’re probably more likely to be a target of thieves during this busy season for errands and shopping. He says people have a lot on their minds and are paying attention to their shopping list, not the purse, and he sees people leaving a purse unattended in a cart while they walk around, or leaving it open so someone can reach right into it. To prevent a crime of opportunity while you’re shopping, Ilton recommends leaving the purse at home and carrying a light load of plastic. He suggests taking only the credit cards you need, and not every one you own. List the credit cards and numbers you might need if they ARE lost, as officer Ilton says you’re only liable for fifty dollars if you promptly reported the theft. Another piece of plastic that could put you at risk is that debit card, so handy for getting cash from an A-T-M.As he puts it, “Don’t flash the cash,” counting your money to check if the machine was accurate while some stranger watches you. If you buy some gifts and go back for another round of shopping, police warn not to make your merchandise an invitation for some burglar who spots it in your car. He says in the back seat, people will see it, and any crook who sees you throw it into the trunk can break in rather earily, so get into the car…and drive around to park on the other side of the mall, so they’ll think you’ve left. The officer also recommends you remember where you parked and not waste time wandering or rummaging for keys before leaving the shopping spot for home.
For a lot of people, this holiday weekend is just a preview of travel plans around year’s end. Besides the tickets and motel rooms, you’d better plan ahead for that trip, especially if it’s out of the country. Dr. Michael Sutcliffe is a family physician in central Iowa who says there’s always the risk of diarrhea and a doctor can send antibiotics along but you must remember not to drink local water, even made into ice cubes. Doctor Sutcliffe says the farther you travel, the greater the planning needed to keep you safe and healthy. He says six months ahead of time you need some vaccinations, and the family doctor can tell you which ones, from Hepatitis “A” to typhoid depending on where in the world you’re going. You’ll need prescription eyeglasses as well as medications, since people have trouble filling prescriptions even when they’ve only traveled to a different state. The doctor says we haven’t yet reached the day when pharmacies anywhere can tap into your medical and prescription records, and that could put you at risk. If you’re elderly and have a lot of medical problems, it’s a good idea to print and take along a list of your conditions and medications…and he suggests an “Epi-pen.” That small device to inject anti-allergy medication could save the life of a person bit by a bee or snake, and can be self-administered. Another two dozen people late this week got sick aboard a Disney Cruise ship, and hundreds have found trips cut short recent weeks by outbreaks of illness.
Five decades ago, Iowa had a thriving grape-growing industry which some say can be revived. The Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development Office in the western Iowa town of Oakland has hired a viticulture technician. Eli Bergmeier says his job is to help all Iowa grape growers chose the best sites and varieties. One of his duties will be to determine how many acres are in production in Iowa as estimates range from 50 acres to several hundred.The 28-year-old Plymouth, Nebraska, native says Iowa’s soil is perfect for grape-growing and he recommends it as an alternative crop to corn and soybean producers. The Hawkeye State was a grape leader in the 1940s and 50s until most of the crop was wiped out by a corn herbicide called “2-4-D” which drifted from corn crops onto the grapes and killed them. He’s confident Iowa’s “ripe” to rebuild the grape industry. He says noone knows what the ceiling is on grapes, but he says the soil is very suitable to grapes. Bergmeier can be reached at the Oakland office at (712) 482-3029 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second northeast Iowa man is charged in connection with the death of aCedar Falls man in September. Cedar Falls police charged 20-year old AndrewSchmitt with involuntary manslaughter. Schmitt was racing his car against acar driven by Charles Waychoff of Waterloo on Highway 58 when Waychoff lostcontrol of his car and crashed into another car driven by 35-year old GrantWheeler of Waterloo. The September 27th accident killed Wheeler. Waychoffhas been charged with vehicular homicide.
A speedy release is very unlikely now for a nurse from northeast Iowa heldin Indonesia, and suffering from H-I-V. The Indonesian judge handling thecase involving 57-year old Joy Lee Sadler of Waterloo and British researcherLesley Jane McCulloch says Wednesday’s court session would be the last untilafter the Muslim holiday of Idul Fitri, which starts onDecember 6th. Government officials aren’t expected to return to work untilDecember 10th. Sadler and McCulloch have been held in a police cell sinceSeptember 11th, when they were arrested. They are accused of violatingtheir tourist visas by allegedly contacting rebels of the Free Aceh movement. Both women deny those charges. Idul Fitri marks the endof the holy month of Ramadan.
The fate of two men critically injured in an explosion at a Newton meth labthis week is still not clear. But Dale Woolery, the acting director of thegovernor’s office of drug-control policy, says the state is still seeing anexplosion in the number of meth labs uncovered by authorities. Though notincreasing as rapidly as they did five to seven years ago, over 830 methlabs have been found so far this year. Last year, authorities discovered768. Woolery says there are a couple reasons busts of meth labs continue toincrease. Woolery says more people report the labs because there’sawareness of what they look and smell lie and cops have gotten better atinvestigating. He says the drug’s very addictive and most of those making itare addicted to it, so it’ll be tough to stop them. Woolery says with theonset of cold weather, the illegal labs move indoors where they may be moreeasily detected, but also pose a greater danger to neighbors. The ether andother chemicals used to make meth are highly-flammable and prone to explode,so Woolery says the prospect rises for more fires and injuries. The labseven pose a danger to the great outdoors…the countryside where they windup. The disposal after the meth is cooked will put debris and chemicals intorivers and likely has a bad environmental effect since the chemicals aretoxic.
Governor Tom Vilsack granted a pardon to two Toms who were on his lawnWednesday morning. Vilsack says President Harry Truman started the traditionof pardoning the turkey he’d been presented for Thanksgiving dinner. Vilsacksays the yearly event gives him a chance to salute turkey growers for theircontribution to the economy. The two pardoned turkeys are now living atLiving History Farms. The Toms came from Todd Hill’s farm near Ellsworth.Hill raises about 150-thousand turkeys every year. The turkeys pardonedtoday were 21-weeks old. Hill says turkeys aren’t the smartest birds, andhave been known to drown in the rain. Young turkeys will look up, get a raindrop caught in their throat, won’t be able to breathe and will die. Theturkeys are bred for slaughter, and genetic improvements to produce a leanerbird have changed the color of the feathers from brown to white. The twoturkeys who visited Terrace Hill were mostly quiet. Hill says they don’tgobble unless they’re in a big group. After pardoning the live turkeys thismorning, Governor Vilsack revealed his family has purchased a frozen turkeythat he’ll roast tomorrow, breast side down so the meat’s more tender.Vilsack was asked by a reporter if he felt a kinship with the “Tom” turkeys.Vilsack laughed, and said there are times in his job of Governor when hefeels pilloried, baked and roasted.