Wisconsin did what it failed to do more than 20-years ago, recruit Lisa Stone. After three years at Drake Stone was introduced as the Badgers’ new womens” basketball coach this afternoon. She grew up near Madison but played collegiately at Iowa when she was not recruited by the Badgers. She says her passion and love for the state of Wisconsin and the badgers started the day she was born.Stone says this is the job she has worked for since choosing her profession.Stone posted a 64-27 record with the Bulldogs and her 2002 club reached the sweet 16 of the N-C-A-A tournament.This past season Drake posted a disappointing 16-12 record after losing freshman point guard Linda Sayavongchanh to the school’s two-point-oh-rule at mid season. She says she loves playing in March and that’s what she’ll strive for with her new team.
Archives for March 2003
A 17-year-old Cedar Rapids girl has been arrested in connection with a St. Patrick’s Day car accident that broke the leg of a toddler. In the late afternoon on March 17th, three-year-old Brock Stewart was hit by a passing car in front of his home in Cedar Rapids. His leg was fractured and he had lots of cuts and bruises. Cassandra Leigh Ochs of Cedar Rapids has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and driving while her license was suspended. Cedar Rapids police say no other charges are expected.
An eastern Iowa woman is the first person in the world to receive a new type of heart pacemaker. It’s called a bi-ventricular pacing defibrillator. The recipient is 64-year-old Marie German, a Davenport accountant who’s had heart trouble for a decade. Her cardiologist, Dr. Michael Guidici of Davenport’s Genesis Medical Center, says it’s a very advanced gadget.The device is about the size of three packs of gum and was inserted under German’s skin just below the right shoulder blade in early March. When her heart starts to beat out of sync, Dr. Guidici says the device sends a small electric shock that restores it to the proper rhythm. Guidici says German was able to leave the hospital the same day as the surgery and is doing fine — in fact she plans to go out of the country for a wedding next week. He says this is the fourth generation of this sort of pacemaker. The previous three generations shocked both lower walls of the heart simultaneously but this new version gives the left side a slight head-start, which makes a big difference.Dr. Guidici says it can dramatically improve cardiac performance, up to one-hundred percent, and even better. The defibrillator is being studied in several locations nationwide, including in Davenport and at the Iowa Heart Center in Des Moines, but German is the first recipient.
The cable industry’s clamoring for a bill that would place new limits on what they say is unfair competition from city-owned cable t.v. systems. The bill would require Iowa cities and counties to pay taxes on the property and power lines used to deliver cable or Internet services. The bill also forbids municipal utilities from taking revenue from electric or gas accounts to finance the cable side of their business. Tom Graves, the executive vice president of the Iowa Cable and Telecommunications Association, says municipally-owned cable companies are offering lower rates than companies like Mediacom because the cost of running a city-owned cable system is spread to the city’s gas and electric customers. Graves says cities are using profits from the electric and gas side of their utility business to pay for the expensive digital cable lines, while private cable companies have to borrow money to install digital lines and pass the cost along to subscribers, giving them an unfair advantage. But Betty Zemen, the marketing manager at Cedar Falls Utilities, says the cable industry’s just trying to drive out competition. She says citizens voted for the municipal systems to get more choices and to provide competition that lowers the cost of cable t-v. About 30 Iowa communities have a municpally-owned cable system, and all oppose the bill. She says it would pose great harm to communities that’ve already invested millions in the infrastructure to supple cable to their residents. The bill is scheduled for debate this week in the Iowa Senate.
News reports about attempts to quell the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Southeast Asia continue to raise the anxiety of Iowans, even though health officials here say there’s no danger. Officials at the national Centers for Disease Control are recommending that Americans postpone non-essential trips to China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam until further notice. The Iowa Department of Public Health spokesman Kevin Teale says those types of warnings have spooked Iowans. He says they’ve been getting “a fair amount” of calls from physicians, medical offices, county health departments and schools due to the media attention. He says though, the risk of Iowans getting this disease is very low. News reports today said officials in Hong Kong sealed off an apartment block where 92 new cases of the potentially fatal disease have been reported. Teale says it’s those reports that cause concern among Iowans. Teale says many of the questions are about people who’ve recently been to one of the countries where the disease has been discovered. Teale says it does take close person contact with a person that’s been infected for you to get the disease. He says Iowans who have traveled to the countries in question, but have none of the symptoms, should continue with their normal daily activities and do not need to be restricted from school or work.
A proposed pipeline that would bring pre-treated water to 23 communities and rural water systems in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota is moving forward. Troy Larson, director of the Lewis and Clark rural water system, says the system cleared a major hurdle earlier this month.Larson says they received a “Finding of No Significant Impact” or “Fonsi” which means they can go ahead without having to put together an environmental impact statement. He says that means the Lewis and Clark project is no long just a proposal, it’s a reality.Larson will coordinate the ongoing efforts to build the 400-mile pipeline which, when completed, will provide water from aquifers under the Missouri River near Vermillion, South Dakota. Larson says ground-breaking ceremonies will be scheduled for sometime in August at the site of the wells near Vermillion.He says funding for the project will be an ongoing battle, he says each year they have to secure funding from Congress, and that’s tougher as money is tight.Larson says they expect water to begin flowing through the pipeline to communities sometime between 2009 and 2012. In northwest Iowa pipelines are scheduled to be running to Sioux Center, Sibley, Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Rapids, and the Clay regional rural water system.
Democrats rallied on the steps of the statehouse today to criticize a Republican-crafted bill that would impose new restrictions on absentee voting and would force Iowa voters to show an I-D every time they vote. Democrats also oppose the bill’s call for closing the polls an hour earlier. Senator Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, says Republicans are upset because Democrats effectively used absentee ballots to help reelect Governor Vilsack and Senator Harkin. He says the sooner they pass the bill, the better, so the governor can veto it. The bill has several other provisions which pull Iowa in line with new federal election law, changes the state must make to qualify the state for 30-million dollars in federal money to purchase new voting machines and train poll workers. Representative Pam Jochum, a democrat from Dubuque, says the whole thing is ironic as we have young men and women in the country fighting to free the Iraqi people and to instill some democratic principles, while we on the homefront are making it harder to cast a vote.Jochum says the bill would also remove democrat Secretary of State Chet Culver as the state’s Commissioner of Elections and turn the responsibilities over to the non-partisan Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. She says there’s been no proof that Culver has done anything wrong.The bill has already passed the House and will be debated in the Senate soon.
One of the chores for Iowa State coach Dan McCarney is to find a replacement for record breaking quarterback Seneca Wallace. Chris Love, Austin Flynn and Wayne Terry are the top candidates McCarney says they’d ideally like to have a clear number one coming out of spring, but he says if that’s not the case, they’ll know in the fall.McCarney says the Cyclones want to get back to running the ball effectively and that should help whoever wins the job. McCarney says the good news is quarterback is one of the few positions that lack experience,as the offensive line, receivers and running backs all have experience.
Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz says the offensive line will be one of the most closely watched areas this spring. All-American tackle Robert Gallery is the only returning starter from a unit that many considered the best in the country last season. He says there are seven to nine guys who could end up lining up next to Gallery, and that’ll be determined through practice. Ferentz says the new faces will get severely tested this spring by a veteran defensive front, the reverse of what they went through last year when the defense was young. Ferentz says while there are some holes to fill it is not like they are starting over on the line.He says there are some things that won’t be as sharp, but he says compared to three or four years ago, they have guys who have Big Ten bodies and attitude, but just lack Big Ten experience. Ferentz says the newcomers have been in the program a few years and have waited for their chance.
Streams in northeast Iowa will soon be teaming with new life. The D-N-R will begin stocking 45 of Iowa’s 105 trout streams this week with some 350 to 400-thousand fish. Dave Marolf manages the trout hatchery in Manchester, one of three hatcheries in the state. He says the new fish are catchable size — around 10 to 12 inches long — weighing around a half pound. Marolf some the streams in the nine-county area are stocked from three times a week, to once a month, depending on the stream and the amount of fishing done there. He says a small percentage of the fish stay in the streams for years, while many of them get caught quickly, and that’s why they stock some streams many times per week. Marolf says it takes one year to get the fish ready to stock the streams.He says if you visit a hatchery today you’d see fingerling trout — varying from a couple inches to three to four inches — that’ll be stocked next year, and you’ll see catchable size fish that’re being stocked this year. There are some streams in Iowa where the trout reproduce naturally, but Marolf says most areas need a little help. He says trout need clear streams with gravel beds to reproduce, and many areas where they reproduce have been silted in by runoff. Marolf says there is enough habitat however for the fish to live in the streams after they grow to the proper size. To find the stocking schedule, surf to: iowadnr.com.